Emerald reaps $5M in royalty benefits

THE mining community of Emerald will see $5 million of royalty money distributed back to their town with work on the Central Highlands’ Nogoa River Rail Bridge flood mitigation project.
Emerald reaps $5M in royalty benefits Emerald reaps $5M in royalty benefits Emerald reaps $5M in royalty benefits Emerald reaps $5M in royalty benefits Emerald reaps $5M in royalty benefits

Flooded streets in Emerald, 250km west of Rockingham

Lou Caruana

Emerald’s Nogoa River Rail Bridge Capacity Improvement and Upstream Levee Development is the first project to receive funding from the Queensland government’s $495 million “Royalties for the Regions” program.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the state contribution, combined with $1.25 million from Central Highlands Regional Council, would provide infrastructure in one of the areas it was most needed.

“The council put forward a very strong business case for this project,” Newman said.

“The floods in Emerald in recent years have underscored the urgent need for mitigation measures. In 2010, 1060 residences had water over their floors.

“The measures we’re announcing today will help protect Emerald against future flooding events such as those experienced in 2008 and 2010, which had a devastating impact on homes and businesses.

“The scope of the project works will include the installation of culverts, the excavation of a larger opening under the rail bridge to improve the flow of water underneath, and the construction of levees upstream to protect against flood waters.”

Newman said Royalties for the Regions was about reinvesting a share of mining royalties from the regions in which they were earned, to help build new and improved community, road and floodplain security infrastructure.

“Other projects submitted for funding address a broad range of regional community, road and flood mitigation projects – from medical centres to water and waste treatment facilities,” Newman said.

“We’re delighted to get behind this project and we will be announcing further projects which have met the criteria for funding in the coming weeks.

“Discussions are continuing about the financial commitment coming from the Commonwealth to ensure priority projects from the Floodplain Security Scheme can go ahead.”