Empower the True Transformation Regions

The Australian Mining Cities Alliance (AMCA) applauds the Commonwealth Government on its initiative to establish the $1.9b ‘Powering the Regions Fund’ as announced in the October 2022 Budget.

Chair of AMCA Phil Barwick said today; “We look forward to seeing the development of this important initiative and in particular we await more detail about the Fund and what it will achieve in the upcoming May 2023 Budget”.

“AMCA understands that the Fund’s four key objectives importantly include the specific goal to support workforce development so that the skills necessary to support decarbonisation and new clean energy industries are available in the regions” he said.

In pointing out that the Powering the Regions Fund will be critical to the survival of many true mining communities Mr Barwick explained; “AMCA firmly believes that true mining communities whose economic base is predominantly derived from the mining or extraction of fossil fuels will be the most significantly affected communities of all, as a result of decarbonisation.”

“Government has to have a plan for the transformation of these communities and their workforces and that plan has to be backed by funding.” he asserted.

“AMCA advocates that the funding for transformation must reach the actual transforming communities – not the capital cities and not the urban regions – but the true mining cities and towns.”

“The future of these communities, their businesses, workers and families will be at risk and it is they who will need to be empowered by Government and supported the most.”

“AMCA has participated in early discussion with Government and will continue to work with Government to achieve an outcome that sees the Powering the Regions Fund achieve the following;

  1. Meaningful engagement with the truly affected communities and their local governments.
  2. Significant support for the Local Governments representing these communities in planning for their transformation with funding, structure and expertise.
  3. Ensuring that the strategies to skill workforces and establish necessary infrastructure for decarbonisation and the development of new clean energy industries are backed by funding which reaches these communities.
  4. Staying with these communities throughout the long transformation ahead.
  5. Under no circumstances any of these communities are treated as ‘sacrificial’.

“We look forward to working with Government to ensure that transformation for affected communities is well planned, well managed and adequately funded.” he concluded.