In a huge blow to regional organisations across Barker, Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Catherine King MP, has announced the Labor Government will scrap Round 6 of the Building Better Regions Fund.
Mr Pasin said, the Minister’s announcement leaves applicants awaiting the outcome of Round 6 of the program disappointed to say the least.
“Hundreds of organisations across the country including more than 30 in Barker have spent countless hours and expended significant sums preparing applications for Round 6 of the Building Better Regions Fund,” Mr Pasin said.
Applications to round 6 of the program closed in February, meaning that applicants have been waiting for more than 8 months to learn the fate of their application.
“After months of uncertainty, the Government has now finally come clean about their intentions for Round 6,” Mr Pasin said.
“It’s a huge blow for organisations who have been patiently waiting on the outcome of their application. After waiting 8 months for a decision these organisations will now be forced to consider making a fresh application. With building costs escalating close to 30 per cent over that period many of these projects may now no longer be viable,” Mr Pasin said.
“It’s an incredibly disrespectful way to treat our regional communities, it’s a real kick in the guts but hardly surprising after all the ALP are past masters of short changing country constituents in favour of those living in our cities,” Mr Pasin said.
“Rural and regional Australia have always been the driving force behind our economy, and this continues to be true as our Nation emerges from one of the worst economic shocks since the Great Depression. It’s deeply disappointing that the Federal Labor Government doesn’t appreciate this.”
“Labor simply doesn’t understand the regions,” said Mr Pasin.
The Building Better Regions Fund has operated over five rounds with a total of $1.15 billion allocated by the Coalition Government to drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.
Grants of $20,000 to $10 million to cover 50% or more of eligible project costs were to be made available to incorporated not-for-profit, local government agencies.
Round 6 of the grant program opened in December 2021 and closed for applications in February 2022. $250 million was to be made available under Round 6.
Round 6 applications in Barker included important regional projects such as the Mount Gambier Saleyards redevelopment, Murray Bridge Regional Sports Stadium and Calperum Station accommodation upgrades.
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