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Regional Partnership Program « Previous | |Next »
November 16, 2007

The release today of the Auditor General's report on the Regional Partnership Program is very timely. This program, in its original form, was designed by the Keating Government to help drive unemployment down, particularly in regional areas. Following the change of Government in 1996 the program came under Minister Abbott in his Industrial Relations persona.

I recall as a member of a delegation to the Minister arguing that in appropriate circumstances grants should cover capital cost but the Minister was adamant that "if it is a viable proposal capital must be raised, perhaps by a bank loan." The purpose of the program had been to help the unemployed, people with little or no credit rating it. The program was then morphed and transferred across to Regional Development under a National Party Minister. I kept in touch with some aspects of the program in the marginal electorate in which I live.

From last night's [15/11/’07] ABC TV coverage, capital in large amounts has been made available with little accountability and little supervision or reporting. For the last 8 to 12 years these funds have been frittered away.

| Posted by Len at 3:51 PM | | Comments (8)


Shock Horror!

As you say it was very timely!

The Howard Government was quite good up until about 2002. That was when they traded good governance for staying in power. Their governance record has been arbitrary since.

The media are reporting that Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Vaile, has announced two unapproved grants worth $900,000 for his own electorate since the election campaign started, under the Regional Partnerships Program that has funnelled millions of dollars into rural Coalition seats.

The National's are a disgrace: they oppose water reform, their policies are little more than pork barrel, and they are corrupt. The independents do a far better job.

was it the Auditor General or the The Australian National Audit Office who did the audit of the Regional Partnerships Program? Or aret hey one and the same?

Peter,News Reports refer to both the ANAO and the Auditor General.The AG is the independant statutory office holder and he is resposible for the ANOA. I see on TV items that news services have copies of the report so I guess it is available to the public.My own local member had a dishonourable mention this morning!


Is there any kind of system for measuring the effectiveness of the programs once they are approved? Given that welfare recipients are expected to account for every cent, you'd hope these programs would be very closely monitored.

Reporting progress and measuring effectiveness is one of the matters commented on in the summary of the Audit Report. The summary can be seen on the ANAO web site. Itis quite detailed. Be carefull you don't accidently start down-loading the three volume report! There is also a Senate Committee report. The Labor Party has been chasing the way this program is run for a number of years but numbers in the senate have frustrated progress.

I see that the Deputy Prime Minister has done a grovelling mea culpa for his attack on the independent Auditor-General, who had the courage to release during the campaign a tough report on the Government's rorting of the Regional Partnerships Program.

Vaile's bashing the independent watchdog maximised the damage because it exposed the rorts of the Nationals. Vaile had to backtrack fast because he was highlighting how corrupt the Nationals actually are.