NASH RESPONSE TO REGIONA RORTS A COMPLETE SMOKESCREEN

Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Stephen Jones MP, today labelled Minister for Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash’s response to new analysis of the Community Development Grants rort as a smokescreen and a complete diversion. Continue reading

NATIONAL PARTY CAUGHT OUT IN DECENTRALISATION HYPOCRISY

In a huge act of hypocrisy the National Party - who have been banging the decentralisation drum all over the country for the last 6 months - have been caught out holding their own National Conference in Canberra this weekend. Continue reading

REGIONAL AUSTRALIA STRANDED ON A SECOND-RATE COPPER NBN

It has been confirmed that there is no plan to upgrade the copper “Fibre to the Node” NBN, leaving Regional Australia stuck on this increasingly outmoded technology for the foreseeable future. Answers to a question I asked of the Department of Communications in Sydney hearings of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network say: “as nbn has previously outlined, there is no current plan to upgrade specific sections of the network” Continue reading

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (16:40): This week the residents of the Central Coast learned of a scandal concerning Central Coast Group Training Ltd, which has received two grants of $2.7 million each for nearly identical purposes. The first grant was made in 2013 by Labor with good intention, but commitments given at that time were not fulfilled. What is hard to understand against this background is why a second grant of the same amount was made in 2015 for the same business by the coalition government. All up, this business has received $5.4 million for skill centres in Tuggerah and North Wyong. Continue reading

NATIONAL PARTY SLUSH FUND EXPOSED IN NSW

The Minister for Regional Development, Senator the Hon. Fiona Nash has failed to explain the unfairness in funding allocation from the $1 billion National Party slush fund known as the “Community Development Grants Program”. Today in Senate Question Time, the Minster could not explain why electorates on the NSW Central Coast were showered with $12 million in grants but nothing for Labor electorates of Shortland or Newcastle and just $160,000 for the electorate of Hunter.  She described her ministerial decisions for this program as “balanced, well thought out and measured”. Continue reading