A recently released report from the Australian National Audit Office has shown discrepancies within Rounds Three and Four of the Regional Development Fund.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton believes that the previous Labor Government was guilty of willful mismanagement of the program to the detriment of regional communities.
“The Audit Office has shown a number of disturbing elements to the Labor Party’s management of the scheme.”
The report showed that the Minister chose to approve 13 projects in electorates held by Labor Members which were not recommended by the assessment panel.
“It also showed that there were 33 projects within Coalition seats which had been recommended for funding and recognised as projects of great regional development value but were passed over by the Labor Minister.”
“It is beyond disappointing that while the project for the development of the Dubbo Saleyards was assessed and was found to be worthy, the Labor Government instead chose to fund other projects for their own political gain,” said Mr Coulton.
Mr Coulton said that this kind of behaviour by the Labor Minister only served to erode the confidence of the Australian people in the Labor Party.
“The Australian people have a right to assume that those elected to public office will be acting with integrity with public funds.”
“I wasn’t surprised by this report from the Audit Office- it was pretty clear that Labor had mismanaged the Regional Development Australian Fund from its inception.”
“Not only did they fail to abide by the established grants administration framework, the previous Labor Government had no ability to fund these projects due to the failed mining tax.”
“Once again, it has been up to the Coalition to restore order to the budget and get regional development back on track.”