It has been nearly 18 months, and we have had four Regional Development Ministers, but not one cent has been allocated from the Government’s much heralded Regional Growth Fund.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack must explain why Regional Australia has been kept waiting so long for funding to flow.
The $272.2million Regional Growth Fund was announced in the 2017 Budget. Despite applications closing for the first stage of the process in April this year, there has been deafening silence since then.
Yet yesterday (September 11) in Parliament Minister McCormack was talking this program up as if the funding was already in the hands of projects:
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack (Question Time 11 September 2018): Whether it's the Building Better Regions Fund, the Regional Growth Fund or the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages, they're all funding initiatives that are helping regional Australia and helping regional Australians contribute to our economy.
It’s impossible to see how this program is helping regional Australians contribute to the economy, if no money has been allocated to get any projects underway.
The Morrison Government’s failure to deliver shows they are focused on themselves and indifferent to Regional Australia.