Statement on National Stronger Regions Fund
Statement from Keith Pitt MP provided to the NewsMail on 11 October 2016 in relation to the National Stronger Regions Fund:
“This region has received millions of dollars of federal funding, including $7.2 million for roads and black spots, $29.7 million for the Bruce Highway, $38 million for health – including Bundaberg Oncology Centre, Cancer Care services in Hervey Bay and Bundaberg – $138.636 million in aged care funding and new aged care services, $3.4 million for infrastructure at schools and $2.1 million for community groups and organisation.
“The National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) was a highly competitive, heavily subscribed round – 479 applications were submitted – and unfortunately not all applications can be funded. However, Queensland as a state did very well, receiving a quarter of the total funding.
“Each application was assessed by the Department on its own individual merit and against assessment criteria ranking things like job creation and economic benefit. Bundaberg Regional Council submitted a strong application and was successful.
“In relation to the IWC application, I cannot demand funding and neither can any politician demand funding be diverted to projects against the department’s criteria.
“The Department and Auditor-General strictly oversee these types of programs to ensure the absolute best use of taxpayers’ funds. Taxpayers deserve to know their funds are being spent responsibly and with full accountability and that has occurred.
“NSRF is now closed to further applications, however when the Building Better Regions Fund round opens later this year, I encourage IWC to investigate if their project would be eligible.”