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Regional Development Trust

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The work of the Trust is intended to influence the way in which RDL and the Minister develop and administer Royalties for Regions policy and projects. Except for Parts 3 and 5, the Act was proclaimed on 27 March 2010 to provide for the operation of the Royalties for Regional Fund (Fund). Prior to the proclamation of the Act, the Royalties for Regions program operated in terms of section 10(a) of the Financial Management Act 2006.

Section 9(2) of the Act – There must be charged against the Fund – (a) expenses authorized under subsection (1); and. b) expenses incurred in the administration of the Fund; and. Section 5(1) of the Act states that the Royalties for Regional Fund must consist of the following auxiliary accounts: a) the National Fund for Local Government;.

Table 1 - Total Royalty Income - as per Budget Paper No. 3 Economic
Table 1 - Total Royalty Income - as per Budget Paper No. 3 Economic

Provision of services and facilities to the Trust

Membership

Paul Rosair was the Director General of the Department of Regional Development and Lands and is (from 1 July 2013) the Director General of the Department of Regional Development. Following his resignation from that post in 2011, he was re-appointed as a member of the Trust. Tim is a director of the local government superannuation plan and is the president of the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia.

Ordinary Meetings

Special Meetings

Attendance

The Trust considers it important that Trust members are personally informed of the conditions and prospects and rights projects for regions in regional WA. Among Trust members, all nine WA country regions were visited during the year, some more than once. April 27, 2011: to review the Country's Local Government Fund June 28, 2011: for the Fund to be used to retire National Debt June 28, 2011: to review the Country's Local Government Fund.

Advice to amend the Act

Advice to develop a human capacity building program

RDL and the Trust consulted with TIAC to try to ensure that their findings and progress on the subject aligned with Trust/RDL views. The TIAC report is in the process of being finalized and the fund will then further consider how to advance investment in innovation and entrepreneurship in the regions.

Advice on a water program

Advice on Royalties for Regions budget proposals

Other matters

Advice on 2012-13 budget themes

The Trust recommended that the Regional Bonus 2012-13 budget not only continue investment in water and human capacity (leadership and improving Aboriginal participation), but that the Minister consider budgetary investment in both water and human capacity projects and programs. The Minister accepted the Trust's advice, but advised that budget constraints for 2012-13 meant that no additional priority projects could be considered for funding in 2012-13. The Minister and RDL informed the Trust that they continue to use the themes recommended by the Trust as a tool for budget planning.

Advice on anti-development issues and on further public policy development

Advice on the review of the Country Local Government Fund

Advice on Royalties for Regions 2012-13 budget proposals

Advice on affordable housing in the regions

Earlier in this report, the Trust summarized its advice to the Minister on anti-development issues. The Federal Government, in response to an independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 (the Hawke Review),16 said its priorities were to move to a single set of environmental consents with accreditation of state and territory assessment and approval. processes that meet national standards. Section 12(a) of the Act requires the Trust to advise and make recommendations to the Minister for the purposes of sections 5(2) and 9(1).

In summary, these sections relate to the allocation of fund monies to various subsidiary accounts; and where the fund's expenditures should be directed.

Review of the Western Australian Community Resource Network

Review of the Royalties for Regions Regional Housing Program

The proposed Royalties for Regions Regional Development Fund

The Trust announced that the creation of the RDF should require an amendment to the Act. The Trust understands that until the law is . amended, RDL will arrange for the RDF to be created within the Royalties for Regions SPA. As the RDF must "fund major strategic initiatives and implement significant infrastructure projects, including those currently in the planning phase", it is important that these initiatives and projects are clearly specified, agreed by the Minister and then Cabinet in the usual way for Royalties for regional approvals , and that the government's decisions and progress with the projects are periodically reported to the Folketing.

RDL is best placed to work with their stakeholders in identifying and progressing those initiatives and projects, and should pay particular attention to RDCo's advice and RIB's strategic determinations. The Trust recommended that the RDL be tasked by the Minister to undertake the necessary consultations and draw up guidelines for determining the threshold for initiatives and projects to be considered for the RDF, the characteristics that those initiatives and projects should have, the method for incentivising or the identification of those initiatives and projects, and the process that will be undertaken in allocating RDF to projects. The Trust recommended that 'smaller and lower priority' projects (as determined by the RDL in due course) should not be considered for the RDF and that initiatives and projects should clearly be a regional strategic and development priority.

Further, if the RDF is indeed to be created within the Royalties for Regions SPA before the law is changed, the guidelines and processes discussed herein should be in place to operate from the moment the RDF is operational. The Trust recommended that the RDL be tasked with conducting the necessary consultation and reformulating the guidelines for determining the threshold of initiatives and projects to be considered for the RIHF, the characteristics that these initiatives and projects must have, the method of solicitation or identification of these initiatives and projects and the process to be followed to allocate RIHF to projects and to consult with RDCo in this regard. If RDF is also to be subject to the Section 8 $1 billion cap, there will be a requirement for larger projects to be cash-managed within the capacity of the cap.

Cash flow management of expenditure from the RDF should allow projects of greater value than $1 billion to be considered.

Planning for new large Royalties for Regions projects

The Trust recommended that the Minister instruct RDCo and RDL to advise him on what major projects (among those listed above or others) it believes are priorities for large future royalties on infrastructure spending for regions in the medium to longer term. The Trust recommended that Sections 4 and 9(1) of the Act be the starting point, with particular reference to the RIB and the state's strategic planning framework, and consultation with agencies such as the Department of State Development, Department of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Transport. The Minister's response to the Trust's advice stated that the Directors General of the Departments of Planning, Local Government and Communities and Regional Development have launched a new state planning and development framework that aligns the delivery of services to regional WA and integrates.

The Pilbara and risk management

Regional development, Royalties for Regions and Aboriginal Affairs policy

The Trust recognizes that the task associated with tenure reforms and the realization of economic opportunities for Aboriginal people is significant, given the legacy of reserves, remote communities and ALT properties that exist across WA, the current limited funding directed towards their management, and risks associated with some key governing bodies. The Trust believes that the Minister has an opportunity, given his regional development and land responsibilities, to play a leading role in promoting tenure and land use for Aboriginal people who can better support it. The Trust recommended that the Minister secure the support of the Premier and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs for a review of Aboriginal tenure across regional WA with those objectives in mind.

The nature of the unitary structures (which apparently are often trusts of various kinds) is not readily available to the State or Commonwealth. The Trust believes that, given his regional development responsibilities, the Minister has an opportunity to take a leading role in promoting a better understanding of structures, governance and funding arrangements in relation to Aboriginal entities across WA to consider improved service delivery and development outcomes. The Trust recommended that the Minister engage with the Premier and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to seek support for such a stocktaking process.

In his response to the Trust's advice, the Minister directed the Trust's attention to the Cabinet Subcommittee on Aboriginal Affairs, which is made up of Ministers for Aboriginal Affairs; health; Mental health and regional development. He also advised that the government would establish an AACC sub-committee on economic development and aboriginal governance. The Minister assured the Trust that he would progress through these committees on the matters raised by the Trust.

The Minister went on to say that he intends to actively drive aboriginal economic development and land ownership issues as part of the government's desire to seriously address the broader issue of aboriginal well-being.

Royalties for Regions and education

Royalties for Regions 2013-14 budget proposals

The Trust advised the Minister that Royalties for Regions Budget Papers should identify the key Royalties for Regions programs that continue beyond the budget year, with an estimate of their costs. Cost Shifting and Royalties to Regions Funding Administration The Minister informed the Trust that the new DRD, RDCo and the RDCs will be fully funded by royalties to Regions from 1 July 2013. The Trust informed the Minister that it does not support this budgetary measure, because it is a direct cost shift to royalties for regions.

The Trust recommended that the Minister consider the merits of deploying DRD staff to the RDC. The Minister advised the Trust of a new important initiative in the field of agricultural development, which should be financed by license fees for the regions. The Minister informed the Trust that license fee expenditure for the regions from the CLGF would be greatly reduced and that the CLGF sub-fund would be phased out within a few years.

The Trust advised the Minister that it does not support the decision to close CLGF. The Trust considers that the development and execution of the Rent for the Regions project by the local government of the country remains valid and valid. The Trust suggested that the DRD should advise the Minister on ways in which the development and execution of the Regional Charges project by the country's local government can proceed.

The Trust supports the continuation and expansion of this effort in the future, including Honoraria for Regions funding dedicated resources.

Trust Finances

Trust Governance Framework

Charter

Code of Conduct

Conflict of Interest Policy

Trust Administrative Functions

Figure

Table 1 - Total Royalty Income - as per Budget Paper No. 3 Economic

References

Related documents

Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 3 Western Australia, Series 3 Volume 8 Number 6 November - December,