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Royalties for Regions review critical of ‘unaffordable’ recreation centres

Royalties for Regions review critical of ‘unaffordable’ recreation centres
April 22, 2017

The newly elected Western Australian Government is looking to overhaul the State’s Royalties for Regions program, with funding set to be directed toward agriculture and other job-creating industries.

Western Australia’s new Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan is believed to be critical of the previous administration having put too much funding into the “beautification" of towns and the building of ambitious aquatic and recreation centres that council cannot afford to maintain and find difficult to staff.

The new Minister believes the failed to support regional communities with employment opportunities.

Minister MacTiernan told the ABC that although there had been “considerable investment in town-centre beautification, (communities had not been) seeing increases in population.

"At the end of the day, the only way we are going to get people in regional centres is if they can have a job and there are employment opportunities.

"This is much harder than planting a row of petunias up the main street and it is going to require us to really be engaging with community."

Minister MacTiernan's comments follow criticism of the previous administration’s investment in infrastructure in small towns without a sustainable business case.

Since its establishment in 2008, Royalties for Regions has delivered more than $7 billion in funding to regional areas, generated by a quarantine placed on 25% of mining royalty revenue. 

Image: The Karratha Leisureplex was built with $21 million of Royalties for Regions funds.

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