Unique VPA approach to put people first


A unique and innovative approach to voluntary planning agreements (VPAs) will help to set up Singleton for the future with the adoption of the Community and Economic Development Fund Policy.

Derived in partnership with The Bloomfield Group and Glencore, the fund was adopted at Singleton Council’s ordinary meeting tonight to support long-term projects that deliver outcomes for the community as well as the economy.

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore said the fund was a shift from the “here and now” approach to VPA money to provide a proactive and strategic injection for all sectors across the local government area with a focus on people, and not just assets.

“The Community and Economic Development Fund Policy sets a new direction for the expenditure of funds from VPAs to work together with mining companies to address challenges and help build diversity in our local economy,” she said.

“It means we can deliver true socio-economic outcomes through services or programs that help to improve living standards and promote health and wellbeing for people in response to the impact of mining, as well as encouraging innovation, supporting and growing jobs and increasing business profitability.

“This policy will provide the strategic direction and financial backing to make sure resources are being used properly to drive prosperity for everyone.”

Cr Moore said she believed this was a completely new approach to VPAs.

“I don’t know of anywhere else where something like this in place, and I commend and thank Glencore and Bloomfield for their foresight and partnership with Council to deliver a groundbreaking outcome that will deliver results for our community now, and into the future,” she said.

Bloomfield Group Chief Development Officer Geoff Moore said the company was delighted to support the initiative because of its focus on local people.

“As local people ourselves, we welcome every opportunity to work together in a unified and coordinated fashion to support the social and economic future of Singleton,” he said.

“The significant benefit of the approach is that it allows the funding to be applied across a wide range of projects that provide benefit to the local community.”

Following the adoption of the policy, Cr Moore said the community could be even more confident about Singleton’s long-term prosperity and livability.

“With long-term vision, a robust strategy and carefully planned actions, the future is bright for Singleton and the Community and Economic Development Fund will help us make sure that every opportunity counts,” she said.