Bundaberg Council unsuccessful in NSRF
Statement from Keith Pitt MP in response to Bundaberg Regional Council’s complaints that it did not receive federal funding through the National Stronger Regions Fund for a second time:
“I am disappointed that the Bundaberg region has not received funding under Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF).
“Applications for federal funding through the NSRF are assessed on merit by the Department of Infrastructure against strict eligibility criteria.
“Bundaberg Regional Council knew its Round One application for a multiplex sports complex did not meet key eligibility criteria, but submitted it anyway. As a result, it was struck out in the very first stage of assessment.
“In Round Two, Council was advised against putting all its eggs in one basket. It was recommended they submit more than one application of various values to increase their chances of success in what is a highly competitive process.
“Instead, they applied for the maximum amount of $10 million for a single project (for waste water treatment).
“At the southern end of the Hinkler electorate, Fraser Coast Regional Council submitted to two applications for Round Two. Their application for $325,000 to increase the capacity of the Brolga Theatre, to attract major events, was successful.
“Across Australia, 111 projects worth a combined total of $293 million were selected for funding under Round Two. A total of 513 eligible applications were submitted, seeking $1.5 billion in funding. In other words, Bundaberg Council’s application was one of 402 that were unsuccessful.”[ENDS]
If every applicant sought $10 million, only 29 projects would have been funded – compared to more than 100.
Round Three of NSRF will open for applications on 15 January 2016 and close 15 March 2016. Information about NSRF eligibility criteria is available online: http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/publications/administration/pdf/Round_Three_Guidelines_Dec_2015.pdf
Examples of just some of the recent Federal Funding to Bundaberg Regional Council:
$7.6 million Financial Assistance Grants in 2014/15 and $7.5 million in 2015/16 (this funding is untied, meaning it can be spent however Council likes)
$12.9 million over 5 years for Roads to Recovery
$130,000 in 2014/15 and $563,000 in 2015/16 for road Black Spots
$845,000 per year to provide home care services
Bundaberg Council has said they want to see more funding for infrastructure, but in 2014-15 they did not make any applications for funding for the Hinkler electorate under the Bridges Renewal Program or the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. Funding is available, they just haven’t applied for it.