EXPERT PANEL FOR ROYALTIES FOR REJUVENATION

The NSW Government will establish a statutory Expert Panel made up of community organizations from across the Hunter to plan for the future and be at the heart of decision-making around the NSW Government’s Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Mining John Barilaro said he would bring together Hunter community leaders to determine how best to maximise Royalties for Rejuvenation funding to ensure the Government protects jobs and industries, supports communities and identifies the exciting opportunities that can be built off the back of the mining legacy for decades to come.

“Coal mining has a strong future in NSW but we need to ensure stability in the long-term and that is why we established the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund which will see a minimum of $25 million set aside each year to ensure we plan for opportunities down the line in mining towns,” Mr Barilaro said.

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“It makes no sense for Government to tell these communities how and what the future should look like – it is communities and their leaders that are best placed to do that – and the NSW Government is here to listen and deliver on those community expectations.

“We will work with mining communities to establish the Hunter Expert Panel and ensure it is given the independence it needs to design the terms of reference, policy, direction and guidelines for investments from the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund.”

The diversification of industries in the Hunter region goes well beyond a four year electoral cycle and the Expert Panel will help drive the necessary structural change through strong independent leadership.

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“Money from the Royalties for Rejuvenation fund will deliver on the types of reliable and large-scale investments that are necessary to create the jobs of the future, create beautiful communities and set the foundations for the Hunter we want for our kids,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Demand for coal in our part of the world remains strong, and thermal coal prices are at recent record highs – so we have time to plan for our future sensibly, without causing undue anxiety and fear as we navigate the decades ahead.

“In the coming months we will be reaching out to Unions, Joint Organisations of Councils, Industry Peak Bodies and Community Advocacy Groups that are prepared to join the Government in its vision of the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund.”