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Bushfire Rorts: Coalition targets bushfire recovery funds for Coalition seats

Once again Eurobodalla has fallen into the spotlight of a pork barrelling investigation. Federal and state funds for bushfire recovery have been heavily skewed in favour of state Coalition seats with NSW State Labor picking up just 1% of $177 million handed out. Elizabeth Minter of Michael West Media investigates: Fast-tracking projects meant there was no need for any of the projects to have a business plan. Take the $5.3 million for a 33-kilometre Coastal Trail linking the headlands and beaches of Batemans Bay’s southern shores that was given to Eurobodalla Shire Council, in the state electorate of Bega, held by the Liberals Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

In a letter to a local residents group, the general manager of Eurobodalla Shire Council confirmed a bushfire grant application had not been submitted:

“While Council did not officially submit an application for funding for this project [Batemans Bay Coastal Headland walk] under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery fund, the Government was aware of this project.”

A May 2019 feasibility study prepared by consultants for the shire council noted that the coastal trail project had no route, no costings, no business plan and no evidence of consultation with the community. The trail was only notionally endorsed by shire councillors one month after the funding announcement.

Without a route, could the trail really be described as “shovel ready”? Read the full article HERE


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