Almost $4 million in funding will benefit the community under three separate proposed Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPAs) between Singleton Council and local mining operations that are currently on public exhibition.
Jerrys Plains will come under the spotlight as part of the $2.65 million draft United Wambo Project Planning Agreement, which proposes $755,000 for the Jerrys Plains Village Centre, recreation grounds and main street upgrade as well as $570,000 for local projects in Warkworth and Jerrys Plains. The remaining $1.325 million would be invested into Council’s Community and Economic Development Fund.
A total of $1.15 million is proposed under the draft Mount Owen Mine Amendment to Existing Planning Agreement, which includes an additional $226,000. Combined with $432,000 proposed under the draft Rix’s Creek Planning Agreement, these monies will also be deposited into the fund.
All three draft VPAs are currently on exhibition for community feedback until 4 November 2020.
Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore said the fund was established last year in a new approach to the way Council uses VPAs to work with mining companies to address challenges and help build diversity in the local economy.
“The fund was designed to manage VPA monies in a more proactive and strategic way to deliver long-term as well as short-term benefits to the community to help offset the impacts of mining,” she said.
“And the approach is already paying dividends, with a component of the fund used as part of Council’s Community Support Package in response to the impacts of COVID-19 to help community organisations and businesses bounce back.
“The three draft Agreements currently on exhibition include immediate injections for the local community, particularly much longed-for improvements to Jerrys Plains that I’m very excited to see come to fruition.
“But through the fund, they draft agreements also provide a sensible and sustainable injection for the future with money in the bank to be spent on programs, infrastructure and projects needed to support positive growth.”
The draft Voluntary Planning Agreements are available for viewing on Council’s website and feedback is invited until 4 November 2020. Submissions may be made in writing online, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to PO Box 314, Singleton NSW 2330.