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.)
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*
Blacktown City Council
Blacktown Football Park Masterplan Construction
Newcastle City Council
Merewether Baths Pavilion and Public Domain Improvement
Wagga Wagga City Council
Multi Purpose Stadium Project
Townsville City Council
Tony Ireland Stadium scoreboard project
Logan City Council
Waterford West District Sports Park
Shire of Derby West Kimberley
Derby Export Facility Enhancement Project
City of Stirling
Stirling Community Mens Shed Expansion
Greater Bendigo City Council
Bendigo Botanic Gardens Expansion
Yarra Ranges Shire Council
Japara Living and Learning Centre
City of Salisbury
City Centre Renewal
City of Onkaparinga
Aldinga District Centre Main Street & Town Square Upgrade
Launceston City Council
Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground Facilities Development
Devonport City Council
Replacement of the Devonport Aquatic Centre Waterslide
Darwin City Council
Jingili Water Gardens Skate Park redevelopment
Barkly Shire Council
Elliot Sporting Oval construction
Childcare Centre upgrades
Manuka Oval upgrade
* Based on grants for which contacts had not been signed as at the September 7 election.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.