Jobs scheme targeted marginal electorate, ignored recommendations

November 2019

The Regional Jobs and Investment Packages was a $220 million Coalition promise rolled out after the 2016 election. The Auditor-General found conflicts of interest were not managed properly.

The Auditor-General criticised the Coalition Government’s management of the $220 million regional jobs scheme, finding conflicts of interest were not managed properly. The Regional Jobs and Investment Packages was a Coalition promise rolled out after the 2016 election.

According to the ABC, the Auditor General’s report found the decisions made by the ministerial panel were not always consistent with advice received from the Department of Infrastructure. Two projects in the NSW electorate of Gilmore received funding, despite not being backed by the department process. Liberal-held Gilmore was one of the most marginal electorates following the 2016 election and the Coalition ultimately lost it to Labor in the 2019 poll.

Four projects in the Labor electorate of Eden-Monaro were recommended for funding, but the panel did not approve them. Overall, the panel did not fund 28% of recommended grant applications and approved 17% that had not been recommended.

The Coalition released the report on November 5, 2019, Melbourne Cup Day public holiday, leading Labor to accuse the Coalition of trying to bury the release of the report.

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