MP: Mining fund must be spent on Bowen Basin roads
THE state’s $100 million regional mining fund must be spent on Bowen Basin roads, Burdekin MP Dale Last says.
Mr Last has called on State Treasurer Cameron Dick to commit the recently announced Resources Community Infrastructure Fund, in full, to the roads connecting communities to mine sites in the region.
He said the upgrades were “desperately needed” in the area, which generates the lion’s share of mining royalties.
“This will be a real test of whether the Palaszczuk Government understands where the money they spend in the southeast comes from,” Mr Last said.
“Right now, there are roads in the Bowen Basin that are little more than goat tracks and, all the while, the royalties generated in that very region gets spent elsewhere. It’s time for our fair share of the pie.
“It would take about five minutes to identify $100 million of spending on roads in the Bowen Basin, because I drive many of those roads regularly.”
He said these would include the Peak Downs Highway, Middlemount and Saraji roads, Bowen Developmental Rd and May Downs Rd.
It was also important for Queenslanders to understand just where the funding was coming from, Mr Last said.
A deal on the Resources Community Infrastructure Fund was reached yesterday with 27 companies to tip in $70 million over three years.
In exchange, the Palaszczuk Government will tip $30 million in and guarantee it won’t raise royalty rates on coal and minerals for the next three years to deliver certainty to the industry.