The NSW government plans to invest big in a raft of key infrastructure projects as part of the first round of its Resources for Regions program in 2013 - 2014.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services Andrew Stoner has announced that $41.9 million in funding will be directed towards a total of six major infrastructure projects situated in mining-related communities.

The six projects for the first round of the Resources for Regions Program are comprised mostly of upgrades and improvements to roads, with $9.5 million to be spent on an upgrade of Ulan Road in the Mid-Western Regional Council, $7.6 million to be spent on a roads safety and improvement project in Muswellbrook, including an over dimension vehicle bypass and industrial services centre road network; and $4.5 million to be spent on upgrades to the Cordeaux Road and bridge in Wollongong,

Under the first round of the program $7.8 million will also be invested in the replacement of Cobar’s waste water treatment plant, while $3.5 million will be directed towards the development of Lithgrow’s Black Bridge.

Andrew Stoner

Andrew Stoner

“These projects have been chosen for funding by an independent panel for their capacity to support economic growth and productivity, ease infrastructure constraints and support NSW communities affected by mining,” said Stoner.

The $41.9 million in regional infrastructure investment is just the beginning, with Stoner announcing the opening of the second round of funding under the program for 2013 – 14, which will provide up to $78 million in additional investment for similar infrastructure projects in mining-related communities.

The Resources for Regions program will see a total of $120 million invested in infrastructure projects in towns and cities including Cobar, Lithgow, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Newcastle, Singleton and Wollongong.

Under the program the NSW government conducts preliminary assessments of proposals before compiling a short-list of projects for more thorough consideration, whose backers are invited to submit a full application for independent assessment.

The Independent Assessment Panel entrusted with the consideration of full applications is comprised of senior representatives from Infrastructure NSW, NSW Farmers and Local Government NSW. Following the conclusion of assessments their funding recommendations are then submitted to the Board of Infrastructure NSW.