Singleton, Muswellbrook mining royalties farce

Filed in Just In by May 9, 2021

Although Singleton and Muswellbrook injected $1.52 billion of coal royalties into the NSW state coffers in 2019-20, a comparatively paltry amount is returned to the region with a mobile billboard set to travel the Upper Hunter electorate today to remind residents where their hard-earned money goes.

NSW Labor Candidate for the Upper Hunter Jeff Drayton who today called for a fairer share of mining royalties for the people of the Upper Hunter, revealed figures showing the Upper Hunter sends nearly $800 million to Sydney in coal mining royalties each year, but local communities only receive $10 million back through the NSW Government’s ‘Resources for Regions’ program.

Labor’s Upper Hunter candidate Jeff Drayton said today that the Nationals had failed to fight for the region’s fair share, allowing the region to fall behind on critical services and infrastructure.

“We are being ripped off. The Upper Hunter sends $800 million down the motorway each year so Sydney’s inner-city can have the great roads, fancy stadiums, and a shiny new light rail network. In return, we get $10 million,” Mr Drayton said.

“And we are paying a big price. We have roads full of potholes; hospitals without enough doctors; long ambulance waiting times; homeless people sleeping rough; vulnerable kids without caseworkers and our TAFE campuses being replaced with cheap online learning,” he said.

“It’s not good enough. After decades of neglect, Upper Hunter needs a representative who will fight for our fair share, to get the services our communities are calling out for. That’s what I’m determined to do.”

Labor’s fast figures:

  • In 2019-20, the NSW Government collected $1.52 billion in royalties from coal mining. Half comes from Singleton and Muswellbrook coal mines alone.
  • On average, the Upper Hunter sends over three-quarters of $1 billion to Sydney every single year.
  • The Nationals only returned $10.3 million to the Upper Hunter in the latest round of Resources for Regions funding (including only $4.57 million to Singleton and $3.75 million to Muswellbrook)
  • That is only 1.2% returned to the Upper Hunter, while the NSW Government pockets the rest.

For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.

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