HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
MERYL SWANSON MP
CHAIR OF LABOR’S REGIONAL JOBS TASKFORCE
MEMBER FOR PATERSON
LOCAL PROJECTS MISS OUT IN MORRISON AND MCCORMACK’S LATEST REGIONAL RORTS
Less than 24 hours after Bridget McKenzie resigned over Sports Rorts, new revelations reveal grants awarded by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack went almost exclusively to Coalition seats or Coalition targets.
An investigation by Channel 9 reveals Michael McCormack awarded 94 percent of projects and 94 percent of funds to Coalition seats or seats targeted by the Coalition under Round 3 of the Building Better Regions Infrastructure Fund.
No projects in Paterson, Hunter, Shortland or Newcastle were successful in securing funding from the fund.
In the electorate of Paterson alone there were three projects seeking more than $4million in funding, all of which were rejected by the Government.
In total, Michael McCormack awarded $167.6 million for 126 projects in 37 Coalition seats and $17.8 million for 30 projects in 8 marginal Labor or Independent seats targeted by the Coalition. Just 10 projects were awarded to five safe Labor or Independent seats worth $12.1 million.
Twenty three eligible regional and outer-urban seats held by the Labor Party at the election missed out completely. Only 13 eligible Coalition seats failed to secure a project.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Catherine King said it is clear there isn’t a publicly funded grants program that the Federal Government won’t use for its own political purposes.
“Regional communities call Building Better Regions a lottery – little did they know Scott Morrison and Michael McCormack loaded the dice against them,” Ms King said.
“I’ve asked the Auditor-General to take a thorough look at what clearly appears to be another Morrison Government rort,” Ms King said.
Member for Paterson, Meryl Swanson, said the community was crying out for investment from the Federal Government, but the Prime Minister and his Deputy are too busy playing politics.
“People in my area, and across the wider region, want a Federal Government that will create jobs in our community,” Ms Swanson said.
“But we are being let down by Liberals and Nationals who are too busy fighting over their own jobs to care about jobs in regional Australia,” she said.
Shadow Minister King wrote to the Auditor-General in December 2019. The Auditor-General indicated in his January 2020 response that he will consider an audit as a part of his 2020-21 work plan.
MONDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 2020