The latest round of the Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF) will see $120 million shared across five major coal producing regions in Queensland.
In the fund’s largest allocation yet, the State Government will provide $118.2 million for 18 projects across the five coal industry regions of Isaac, Central Highlands, Banana, Western Downs and Whitsunday, alongside a further $1.8 million for a bridge upgrade near Dysart.
The $118.2 million from the RCIF’s third round builds on $55 million from Round 2 and $47 million from the fund’s first round in 2021.
The fund’s biggest project will be an up to $40 million investment for the Isaac Resources Excellence Precinct at Moranbah that will focus on innovation.
New housing will also be built for workers, medical students and retirees, there will be new and upgraded sports facilities, community and cultural centres and halls, and upgrades to an airport, botanic gardens and the Phillips Creek bridge.
Previous rounds of RCIF were voluntary partnerships between the Queensland Government and the resources industry, with the resources industry contributing $70 million and the State contributing $30 million.
Queensland Minister for State Development and Infrastructure, Grace Grace, said, “The Miles Government is delighted to give back to our resources industry communities through the biggest RCIF funding round yet.”
Ms Grace said the State Government wants to acknowledge the importance of its resources communities and the work they do to benefit all Queenslanders.
“I’m proud that the Miles Government has stepped up to wholly finance Round 3 of this important fund.
“Queensland’s immense natural resources are owned by all Queenslanders and the wealth they generate should be used to benefit everyone in our state.”
Ms Grace said that communities across Queensland, from Bowen and Collinsville to Emerald, Dysart and Dalby will be celebrating with new projects that come with great thanks for their hard work.
Queensland Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart, said, “The resources sector is worth $86.5 billion to the Queensland economy and employs more than 70,000 workers with nearly 60 per cent of those across regional Queensland.”
Mr Steward said that this RCIF funding round focuses on coal communities and the biggest investment is up to $40 million for a new precinct which will lead resources innovation for all of Queensland.
“Our communities who play a part in producing, processing and transporting coal continue to be the backbone of our economy.”
Isaac Regional Council Mayor, Anne Baker, said, “The nearly $40 million in RCIF funding will support the future of resource communities across Queensland by establishing a centre of excellence that will advance new technologies in the resources sector.”
Mayor Baker said that Isaac Resources Excellence Precinct will be built in Moranbah at the heart of the Bowen Basin and include research, education and future partners precincts.
“We will be leading the way in bringing innovation to the Queensland resources sector, including low-carbon processes, new workforce skills and key initiatives such as minesite rehabilitation and deeper First Nation partnerships.”
The project funding allocations in the five regions are:
- Banana Shire Council – $11.05 million
- Central Highlands Regional Council – $28.2 million
- Isaac Regional Council – $43.1 million
- Western Downs Regional Council – $15.4 million
- Whitsunday Regional Council – $20.4 million.