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REGIONS DUDDED IN RESOURCES FOR REGIONS FUNDING DEBACLE

October 13, 2019

The Berejiklian-Barilaro Liberal National Government has been exposed dudding regional NSW, after it emerged that almost half of the $50 million Resources for Regions funding has yet to be spent in Regional NSW.
 
Labor Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully has demanded the Nationals stop wasting time and release the uninvested $24 million to regional NSW immediately.
 
“Why are the Nationals dudding regional NSW? They need to immediately release this $24 million and support our regional mining communities.”
 
In July Mr Scully called on the Nationals Leader, John Barilaro, to announce Round 6 funding grants under the Resources for Regions program so mining communities across the state could have access to a speedy economic boost in their local areas.
 
During a visit to the Hunter region on 30 April 2019, Nationals Leader, Mr Barilaro revealed 11 projects had been funded and indicated that they would be “announced over coming weeks.”  However, no consolidated announcement has ever been published or placed on the Department’s website.
 
It was revealed during Budget Estimates that the Liberals and Nationals have underspent the Resources for Regions program by half.
 
The Liberals and Nationals have also refused to disclose co-contribution amounts for the successfully funded projects, arguing this was “up to the individual applicant”, or the number of jobs expected to be created by the successful projects.
 
Mr Scully said that the Liberals and Nationals have to explain the reasons for such a significant underspending of the Resources for Regions program during a period when regional areas were crying out for economic stimulus, particularly due to the severe drought.
 
“While we welcome the funding provided to the 11 projects, questions must be asked as to why the full $50 million allocated for the Resources for Regions program has not been spent in full.
 
“At a time when regional areas are crying out for help, the Berejiklian-Barilaro Liberal National Government is just being mean and tricky with a funding program that is supposed to be dedicated to the regions.”

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