Prime Minister Julia Gillard today released the Federal Government’s guidelines for the $6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund, which will unlock investment in communities dealing with the impacts of the mining boom.
The Government has set aside $6 billion for the Regional Infrastructure Fund as part of the proceeds of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax to pay for major road, rail, ports and other economic infrastructure to support growth.
Making the announcement during a visit to Rockhampton today, the Prime Minister said the fund would spread the benefits of the boom across the entire nation.
“The Regional Infrastructure Fund is about supporting the communities who are at the forefront of Australia’s resources boom.
“The Fund is already investing in for infrastructure in mining communities, including supporting the $85 million Yeppen North Lagoon bridge and roundabout project, which is currently under construction,” The Prime Minister said.
“The release of these guidelines today means that all communities—state and local governments and other stakeholders—will now be able to submit detailed proposals to Infrastructure Australia for assessment.”
Infrastructure Australia will be charged with advising the Federal Government on how best to allocate funding over nine years.
Queensland and Western Australia stand to be big winners under the Regional Infrastructure Fund, with allocations factoring in the level of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax raised in each state.
As an early down-payment, the Government will also provide $1.5 million from the RIF for the Queensland Government to develop an overarching infrastructure plan addressing capacity and supply chain constraints.
“This will help fund the infrastructure planning we need to unlock the enormous growth potential of Central Queensland,” she said.
“It is critical work to ensure that Central Queensland continues to thrive well into the future by coordinating its planning and approach to the supply chain.”
The plan will bring together Federal, State and Local governments, to work with the resources and agriculture sectors and other industries and relevant stakeholders from Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay, as well as mining communities across the Bowen and Galilee Basins and the region.
The RIF guidelines are available at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/rifp/index.aspx
11 July 2012