Statements by Members - Building Better Regions Fund

Every member here is happy when money is spent in their electorate, but every member here has a duty to ensure that money is spent wisely and with the best interests of the community at heart. What we see from the government is public money spent as if it came from a political piggy bank. The Liberal-National government use public money as if it were their own money. They don't spend it for the public good; they spend it to cover their own political backsides.

Shadow Minister Catherine King has exposed the government's outrageous abuse of public funding under the Building Better Regions Fund. Government MPs were given the chance to push for projects that did not even meet the criteria, something Labor MPs were not given the opportunity to do. We have learned that, in the past four years, 90 per cent of the $1.4 billion fund has gone to coalition or target seats. My seat of Lyons received $4 million for a handful of projects in the latest round, and that compares to $40 million for Mallee, held by the Nationals. Labor holds around one-third of regional seats, but Labor and Independent seats received one-tenth of the funding. It's another rort by a government of gold medal rorters. Remember, every single dollar of every single rort adds to the national debt. Taxpayers are footing the interest bill for the Liberals' desperate clinging to power.