Illawarra State MPs Ryan Park and Paul Scully have today written to the NSW Auditor-General calling for a review of the Resources for Regions program.
The controversial program, first established in 2012, is designed to provide funding to communities affected by mining activities.
Of $207 million in funding allocated under the Resources for Regions program, the Illawarra has received only $6.9 million for two projects since 2012. The Wollongong local government area has four operating coal mines.
NSW Labor has requested the Auditor-General review the Resources for Regions program to demonstrate it has been administered free from political interference since 2012.
The move follows calls by Hunter Labor MPs who have expressed similar concerns that project funding has been skewed towards Government-held electorates.
Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP:
“Over $200 million has been spent in Resources for regions funding, but the community is now questioning if this has been a massive pork barrelling exercise for Government-held seats.
“With four mines operating in the Wollongong local government area, it’s worth asking why has the Illawarra only been successful in having two projects funded since 2012?”
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“There is simply no question that the Illawarra has been ripped off under the Resources for Regions program.
“We’re not the only region with mining activities where the fairness and transparency over the administering of this program has been called into question – our Hunter colleagues have expressed exactly the same concerns.
“The Government must satisfy the Auditor-General that there has been no political interference in the administration of funding under this program since 2012.”