February 4, 2018
Opposition calls for AG to review Local Projects, Local Jobs
Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder will refer the State Government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program to the Auditor General for assessment as to its rationale, fairness, openness and transparency of the distribution of taxpayer funds.
“I am concerned there has been a bias in the distribution of funds and that all organisations that could have applied for funding and been considered on a competitive basis were not made aware of the program and were not provided an opportunity to apply,” Mr Nalder said.
“There also does not appear to be any criteria against which funding decisions were measured and no record keeping of the decision-making process.
“Many people will recall a report of the Federal Auditor-General in December 1993, in relation to the manner in which the then Department of Environment, Sport and Territories had administered $30 million in grants under the Community Cultural, Recreational and Sporting Facilities Program.
“Many people will also recall that a Federal Labor Minister lost her job as a result of this report.”
Mr Nalder said there was no doubt the Local Projects, Local Jobs program was politically influenced, did not represent fair expenditure of taxpayers’ funds, had insufficient criteria outlining how funding was allocated, did not provide equitable access to organisations for funding and will not create any long-term sustainable employment opportunities as the program’s title inferred.
“While I expect the Government will claim these are election commitments, and therefore justify them as legitimate grants, the question must be asked: is taxpayers’ money being allocated fairly with all potential recipients eligible to apply and be considered on a competitive basis?,” Mr Nalder said.
“Accordingly, I implore the Auditor General to conduct an urgent investigation into the Government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program.”