A survey of the impact of Royalties for Regions program delivery in regional WA

Royalties for Regions Six Year Impact Survey (2008-2014)
Regional planning Economic development Community development F H McKenzie collection Western Australia

The Royalties for Regions program, that commenced in Western Australia in 2008, represented a paradigm shift in how the royalties generated from the mining and petroleum industries were to be reinvested in the future of regional communities. The object of the program is to promote and facilitate economic, business and social development in regional Western Australia through the operation of the Royalties for Regions Fund. With its legislative base in the Royalties for Regions Act 2009, the program provides, for each financial year, an amount equal to 25 per cent of the forecast mining and petroleum royalty income is to be credited to the Royalties for Regions fund1 . Monies allocated from this Fund are to be over and above existing or planned normal expenditure by Government agencies and are to be used to ensure basic Government services and infrastructure is provided in regional areas. The principal areas of expenditure centre on regional infrastructure, headworks, local government and community services. The first year of the Royalties for Regions program, 2008 – 2009, saw expenditure of $119 million across a range of outcome areas in regional WA. Within five years the amount of expenditure on Royalties for Regions initiatives had totalled over $2,600 million with a further $2,000 million allocated and not yet expended. The Department of Regional Development is responsible for administering the Royalties for Regions program. Working in collaboration with other organisations the Department allocates funding to address priority needs in the regions. This approach has provided funding for small community projects in the thousands of dollars to multi-million dollar state strategic projects. Some projects are well-known across the state, such as the Pilbara Cities initiative. Others are likely only known to the local community in which the project occurred. Both large and the small projects, widely-known and locally-known, share some commonalities. They have all been implemented with the aim to improve the health and well-being of regionally based Western Australians.

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