State opposition leader Mark McGowan has claimed Royalties for Regions funds are being pork-barrelled into National Party electorates and the regions that need it most are missing out, following the release of a report today.
Nationals leader and regional development minister Brendon Grylls released the WA Regional Development Trust’s review into one of three funds under the Royalties for Regions scheme, named the Country Local Government Fund, and said significant changes had been recommended.
Over $306 million is under the fund’s administration and Mr McGowan said the report revealed Mr Grylls’ Wheatbelt electorate received 31 per cent of CLGF funding, despite containing only 13 per cent of WA’s regional population.
“By contrast, regions that produced the most royalties including the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne received a collective total of only 18 per cent of the funding,” Mr McGowan said.
Mr Grylls said 26 recommendations had been made in the report, including addressing the purpose of the CLGF’s purpose, what should be funded under the CLGF, how much should be available through the fund and who makes the decisions about successful CLGF projects and on what basis.
The report was commissioned by Mr Grylls last June in recognition of the significant funding held in the fund, and Mr McGowan said he wrote to WA Regional Development Trust chair last October to express his concerns over the mismanagement of the CLGF.
“I was concerned about the allocation proves lacked accountability and today’s report suggests the Barnett government must set better performance standards and come up with ways to measure outcomes,” Mr McGowan said.