March 30, 2021

Can’t have it both ways on grants

Media Release - 22 September 2020

With the unfolding State Government council grants scandal being examined by a Parliamentary Committee, locally communities are focussed on ensuring that councils get a fair share. It starts by ensuring the Government can’t pick and choose when local MPs sit on assessment panels, and exclude non-Government MPs.

However the current Government policy is that the local MP is excluded from the process if that local MP was a non-Government MP, thereby intentionally excluding local expertise to guide the allocation of grants.

The data shows that where they did ship in a government MP that they were of no special assistance to the local community. In fact where the local Government MP was included the councils obtained around $150 per resident but when they parachuted in a non-local Government MP the funding slid to $56 per resident on average.

Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith said:

“Excluding local MPs based on their political colours is completely inappropriate and makes a mockery of the system’s claim to rely on local knowledge.

“If local MPs are involved for their expertise and knowledge of the needs of the local community, then it shouldn’t matter what party they belong to,” Ms Smith said.

Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The data shows these grants were decided and allocated by local MPs not because of their deep local knowledge, but to help win seats in the election.

“These schemes are paid for with public money, and shouldn’t be used to bribe local residents to vote a certain way.

“Of course councils in regions that have benefited from the skewed funding allocations support the speed and flexibility of ministerial discretion.

“ICAC has warned against the involvement of MPs in allocating public money and this scheme exemplifies exactly why,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Showing 1 reaction

  • Mj Heenan
    published this page in In the media 2021-03-30 16:24:04 +1100

Continue Reading

March 15, 2024

The Greens submission to the government's STRA consultation process

Short-term holiday lets are tearing apart the social fabric of the region. With one in four homes being short-term rentals in Byron Shire, it’s no wonder we have a housing crisis.

Read More

January 18, 2023

The regions being most impacted by short-term rentals (Rent News)

The oversupply of short-term rentals is often touted as one of the leading causes of the rental crunch, but new data reveals some areas suffer more than others.

Read More

January 18, 2023

Position on holiday letting (Byron Echo)

Given the broken promise by the NSW Liberal-Nationals government on allowing Council to regulate the short-term rental accommodation (STRA) sector in the Byron Shire, The Echo asked NSW Labor what they would do if elected in March.

Read More

Join other supporters in taking action

Sign up to receive newsletters and occasional emails about important issues in our community from Tamara Smith MP.

Join the campaign