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The Queensland Government’s Resources Community Industry Fund (RCIF) has allocated $118.2 million to community projects in five major coal producing regions across the state, as part of its third round of funding.

RCIF complements existing Queensland investment in community infrastructure for resource communities.

The Banana Shire Council will receive $11.05 million, the Central Highlands Regional Council will receive $28.2 million, the Isaac Regional Council will receive $43.1 million, the Western Downs Regional Council will receive $15.4 million, and the Whitsunday Regional Council will receive $20.4 million.

A further $1.8 million will also be allocated to a bridge upgrade near Dysart.

“This RCIF funding round focuses on coal communities and the biggest investment is up to $40 million for a new precinct which will lead resources innovation for all of Queensland,” Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart said.

“Our communities who play a part in producing, processing and transporting coal continue to be the backbone of our economy. It’s only right that the Queensland Government has stepped up to wholly fund Round 3 of the RCIF.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the latest round of funding from RCIF, which is the largest amount of funding being allocated yet.

Acting QRC chief executive officer Judy Bertram said that coal companies paid more than $15 billion in royalties to the State Government during the 2022­–23 financial year (FY23), and QRC expects coal companies to pay almost $13 billion in FY24.

“This means that by June 30 this year, Queensland coal companies will have paid around $28 billion in royalty taxes to the State Government over the past two years,” Bertram said.

“This is an enormous contribution by the coal industry to the State Government budget, and it’s only fair and reasonable that people living in regional areas benefit from the strong performance of the coal sector.”

RCIF’s Round 3 builds off the $55 million allocated for Round 2 and $47 million as part of Round 1.