Tony Abbott has slashed grants for community infrastructure by at least $30,000 per local council.
Regional Development Australia Fund grants, worth up to $2 million for larger councils, were designed to fund community facilities like swimming pools, sporting fields and child care centres.
About $150 million in grants under Round Five had been approved by the previous Labor Government. Each was worth at least $30,000.
But Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has confirmed the Coalition will renege on grants unless councils have already signed contracts to begin work.
Mr Truss confirmed the Coalition Government would honour signed contracts, but would treat non-contracted Labor announcements as election promises that did not bind an alternative government to them.
‘Sports precinct upgrade cash not coming’, mmg.com.au, 25 October 2013
This program was designed to improve community facilities in regional areas and stimulate local economies, thereby supporting existing employment and creating new jobs.
Mr Abbott and Mr Truss have been in office for only a few weeks but they are already destroying jobs and short-changing regions.
This is despite their pre-election promises of “no surprises’’ and no cuts that would destroy jobs.
Whether it is a swimming pool, footy oval or a community centre upgrade, every cut hurts our community.
The RDAF Round 5 grants were announced in June 2013 and funded in the 2013-14 budget. (See page 37 at the link below.)http://www.regional.gov.au/department/statements/2013-14/portfolio-budget-statements/pdf/DRALGAS_PBS_1314FY.pdf
Despite this, Mr Truss has attempted to mislead Australians by claiming the money does “not exist’’.
It is bad enough that Mr Truss won’t stand up for regional communities, but he is also attempting to mislead people to conceal the Coalition’s mania for spending cuts regardless of the social and economic consequences.MAJOR CUTS BY STATE*NSW Blacktown City Council
Blacktown Football Park Masterplan Construction
$1,507,100Newcastle City Council
Merewether Baths Pavilion and Public Domain Improvement
$1,053,100Wagga Wagga City Council
Multi Purpose Stadium Project
$668,800QLD Townsville City Council
Tony Ireland Stadium scoreboard project
$438,000Logan City Council
Waterford West District Sports Park
$560,000WA Shire of Derby West Kimberley
Derby Export Facility Enhancement Project
$374,300City of Stirling
Stirling Community Mens Shed Expansion
$331, 000VICGreater Bendigo City Council
Bendigo Botanic Gardens Expansion
$1 millionYarra Ranges Shire Council
Japara Living and Learning Centre
$1 millionSACity of Salisbury
City Centre Renewal
$570,700City of Onkaparinga
Aldinga District Centre Main Street & Town Square Upgrade
$487,600TASLaunceston City Council
Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground Facilities Development
$127,600Devonport City Council
Replacement of the Devonport Aquatic Centre Waterslide
$89,000NTDarwin City Council
Jingili Water Gardens Skate Park redevelopment
$136, 300Barkly Shire Council
Elliot Sporting Oval construction
Childcare Centre upgrades
$2.4 millionACT Government
Manuka Oval upgrade
* Based on grants for which contacts had not been signed as at the September 7 election.