The people of Singleton may have lost out in the State Government’s latest Resources for Regions funding announcement, but Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore has vowed to keep up the fight for a fair go for our community.
Cr Sue Moore said she was “bitterly disappointed” Singleton Council would receive nothing towards its application for $8.25million to continue the Singleton Town Centre revitalisation project from the State Government program, despite Singleton’s significant contribution to NSW’s income.
Singleton’s 17 mines make up almost a third of the State’s coal exports and almost a third of the State’s mining royalty contributions.
Cr Moore said considering mines in Singleton contributed $415million in royalties to the State Government’s coffers annually, Council’s funding application represented only a two % return on one year’s contribution.
“Resources for Regions is an important funding source for Council to improve local infrastructure and deliver outcomes in our Community Strategic Plan (CSP) that our community told us they wanted, so to say I am disappointed is an understatement,” she said.
“We all know mining is fundamental to the success of the NSW economy, and people across the State benefit because of the proceeds that come from natural resources mined right here in our LGA.
“But it’s the people of Singleton who live with the day-to-day impacts of coal mining.
“It’s our people who experience the pressure on our infrastructure, particularly traffic congestion on our roads, and the real impacts on community services such as limited passenger train services.
“The last two rounds of this program have failed them.”
Cr Moore said with applications opening in two weeks for a share of $50million under the next round of Resources for Regions, Deputy Premier John Barilaro was on notice he had not heard the last from Singleton.
As an Executive of the Association of Mining Related Councils and as part of the Hunter Council’s delegation, Cr Moore met with Mr Barilaro in May to discuss the future of the Resources for Regions program.
“The NSW Government may have let down the people of Singleton, but I will never stop fighting for a fair go for our community - and I made that very clear when I met with the Deputy Premier,” she said.
“The changes to the criteria for funding applications, including co-contribution requirements, is a major area of concern, although we were pleased to learn this morning that we have made some progress there, with it reduced to 25% next round.
“I am confident our high quality application to support our funding request met the program’s criteria this round, including our co-contribution which encompassed the Riverside Park project and the planned redevelopment of 189 John Street.
“Singleton has done more than its fair share of heavy lifting for the State’s economy, and to receive absolutely nothing is not good enough. With a State Government election fast approaching, we are looking for investment in Singleton to be stepped up, not cut off.”