The NSW government moved to soothe the regions with its $1 billion Regional Growth: Economic Activation Fund announced in the 2017-18 State Budget. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet made the announcement on Tuesday.
Treasurer Perrottet today said the new fund was designed to unlock economic growth and deliver quality services in regional NSW, and would be drawn from the Government's Restart NSW funding.
The fund will support investment in:
- Growing local economies: through investment in enabling infrastructure
- Resources for regions: addressing infrastructure requirements in mining communities
- Connecting country communities: improving connectivity in regional NSW to drive economic growth
- Regional sports infrastructure: supporting participation in regional sporting communities
“LGNSW looks forward to more information from the Deputy Premier's office on how this funding will be allocated and the opportunities for our sector, but overall this looks like very good news for regional communities,” said Local Government NSW President Keith Rhoades
Cr Rhoades also welcomed the Government’s renewed pledge to invest 30 percent (or $6 billion) of its $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan in regional NSW, to ensure all communities experience the benefits of the proceeds from the partial sale of the poles and wires businesses.
“We’re pleased with the Government's commitment of $200 million over three years for the Strong Country Communities Fund, which is designed to fund improvements to community facilities such as swimming pools, health centres, bike paths, playgrounds and community halls,” he said.
“In particular, we welcome the written commitment that every local government area within regional NSW will be eligible to receive funding under this initiative."
Clr Rhoades said LGNSW welcomed other regionally important Budget announcements, including:
- $582.5 million for the Regional Road Freight Corridor program
- $341.3 million for Regional Growth Roads including $153.1 million for the Pacific Highway upgrade, Parsons Road to Ourimbah Street Stage 3
- $84 million for the Regional Freight Pinch Point and Safety program to improve key freight corridors
- $38.6 million for the Bridges for the Bush to replace or upgrade bridges in regional NSW including Bruxner Highway and Tabulam Bridge
- $107 million for the Regional Water and Waste Water Backlog Program to "drought-proof regional communities by boosting essential water and waste water services, including the construction and upgrade of sewerage treatment and water treatment plants
- $550 million in 2017-18 for rural and regional hospitals and health facilities, including projects in the Tweed, Goulburn, Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga, Macksville, Wyong, Mudgee, Maitland, Albury, Cooma, Inverell, Lismore and Shellharbour areas
- $100 million over 4 years for the Regional Cultural Fund.