The move follows the exposure of a series of rorts scandals involving funding grants administration, including the Stronger Communities Fund; sports grants; and schools renewable energy grants.
The Wollongong local government area has been deliberately excluded from a number of funding grants programs under the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government.
Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, said NSW Labor’s legislation would make the funding grants process much fairer and more accountable.
“NSW Labor is serious about making sure that Wollongong gets its fair share of the funding programs available.
“We are the third largest city in New South Wales and we deserve to be treated fairly in any funding opportunities that are available from government programs.
“We have not been getting our fair share under the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government.
“In too many cases this Government has deliberately excluded Wollongong community and sporting groups from even being able to apply for funding grants”, he said.
NSW Labor has introduced the Government Grants Administration Bill 2021 into the Parliament, which includes a Review of the Act requiring the Minister to determine whether Wollongong and Newcastle should have a consistent definition established as to their status as cities or ‘gateway cities’ “…in order to access relevant government grant schemes.”
Mr Scully and Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp MP, secured the provision after providing evidence to a Parliamentary Committee of the disadvantages which have faced the cities from deliberate exclusion from accessing government funding grants.
“I never want to see Wollongong excluded from the opportunity to bid for government grants programs again.
“If the Premier is to be taken seriously his Government should back this legislation and Wollongong’s right of local community and sporting groups to apply for a fair share of funding programs.
“What we expect in Wollongong is a level playing field where the rules are the same and everyone applying for funding grants is treated fairly.
“We haven’t had that under this NSW Liberals and Nationals Government.
“We will get in under this NSW Labor legislation”, Mr Scully said.