Councils want more funds as royalties share declines

A MASSIVE fall in Royalties for Regions funding for each eligible local council in Queensland has sparked a call for more funding for resource region councils.

The call was led by the coal-rich Isaac Regional Council and endorsed by the Central Queensland Local Government Association.

A motion from the council calling for the extra funds was up for debate at the Local Government Association of Queensland's annual conference on Wednesday.

It urged LGAQ to call on the state government to increase the funding, which was diluted by the addition of an extra 50 councils in the second funding round in July this year.

The funding was originally meant to return royalty funds to the areas where mines were actually operating but the State Government grew the list of eligible councils from 14 to 64 in the July round of funding, in a move criticised by some in mining-rich areas.

The Isaac council calculated the first round of funding saw $4.2 million made available for the 14 eligible councils.

"In comparison, Round Two of the Royalties for the Region program will see local governments receive an average amount of approximately $700,000," the motion reads.

"This is a 600% decrease in the average allocation per eligible local government being considered in the Royalties for the Regions program."

The motion sought a funding increase for resource councils commensurate with the rise in the number of eligible councils.

While the funds were still focused on those areas impacted by growth in mining and coal seam gas, all grants under the program remain subject to the regular competitive tender process.


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