With Newcastle excluded from several NSW Government grant programs, a Legislative Council inquiry into the integrity of these programs must visit the city to understand the breadth of the problem.
State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp has issued the called to the Public Accountability Committee to hold a hearing in Newcastle, noting that the city is not eligible for metropolitan or regional sports funding programs.
Several NSW Government grant programs will be examined, with inquiry looking into their efficacy of their administration and transparency of decision-making.
The Inquiry follows reports of wide spread rorting and pork-barrelling of major NSW grant programs.
Mr Crakanthorp said that Newcastle’s eligibility status for grant programs was inconsistent and exclusionary.
- Regional Seniors Travel Card where Newcastle is considered ‘metropolitan’ and is ineligible
- The Metropolitan Greenspace Program where Newcastle is considered regional and is ineligible
- Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund and the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, both worth $100m each, where Newcastle is not eligible for either
- Regional Cultural Fund excluded Newcastle from applying.
“Sometimes we’re metropolitan, sometimes we’re regional and other times we’re neither,” he said.
“Sports funding is particularly bad – we have grassroots clubs crying out for help but they’re not eligible for any of the dedicated sports grants programs.
“There is $200 million on the table for sporting organisations in NSW, but Newcastle clubs can’t access a cent.
“Once again, Newcastle misses out.”
NSW Labor took a dedicated Newcastle-Wollongong Sports Facility Fund to the 2019 election.