Funding to tackle mining pressures

Campbell Newman.
Campbell Newman.

MULTI-MILLION dollar investments upgrading roads and community infrastructure are set to be a reality in the Central Highlands.

The State Government announced applications for the $495 million Royalties for the Regions program open later this year and will deliver vital funds to towns that are struggling under the increased pressure of the resources boom.

Barcaldine, Isaac and Central Highlands regional councils have been declared eligible for the long-fought-for funding, which Premier Campbell Newman (pictured) proclaimed would increase liveability and offer a "long-term attractive lifestyle in resource regions".

"Through Royalties for the Regions, the Queensland Government is giving back to the communities that support resource projects - reinvesting a share of royalties to help build new and improved community, road and floodplain security infrastructure," Mr Newman said.

He said the State Government was committed to investing $495 million over four years through the framework "with the focus of the first round to be on critical or urgent infrastructure projects".

"The available funding will build over time to an ongoing commitment of $200 million a year," Mr Newman said.

The Federal Government has also declared $1.5 million in funding for development in Central Queensland, according to Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.

"The government will use the Central Queensland Resources Supply Chain funding to develop plans to manage regional growth in Central Queensland, including the Galilee and Bowen basins," Mr Seeney said.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli last month urged the Central Highlands Council to explicitly state the impact of the mining boom on roads, and apply for the funding.

Royalties for the Regions funding applications open in September, with $60 million available to be shared across 14 local councils for 2012/2013.

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