An audit of the Regional Jobs and Investment Package found the Federal Government gave the go-ahead to grants for projects not recommended by officials.
An audit of the Regional Jobs and Investment Package found the Federal Government gave the go-ahead to grants for projects not recommended by officials. Andrew Thorpe

$220m regional jobs policy under fire

A $220 million policy touted to create "jobs and growth" in 10 regions, including Flynn, has come under fire by the auditor-general.

An audit of the Regional Jobs and Investment Package found the Federal Government gave the go-ahead to grants for projects not recommended by officials.

Government officials responsible for regional development and industry recom­mended hundreds of appli­cations but were overruled by a ministerial panel that rejected 64 projects seeking $75.9m.

It found the panel allocated $77.4m to 64 other projects that were not recommended.

The report said overturn decisions reduced the amount of funding for the electorate of Capricornia in favour of Flynn.

"Applications were not soundly assessed in accordance with the program guidelines," the auditor said.

Meanwhile, funding decisions made in favour of Wide Bay led to reduced grants for Flynn and Hinkler.

The Gladstone region received $3.8m from the fund, with $3m allocated to Philip St Integrated Health Services Precinct and $150,000 for Gladstone Engineering Alliance's interactive walkway - opened this week.

A statement from Labor's Anthony Chisholm, Catherine King and Murray Watt called on the government to "come clean" on which businesses or organisations missed out when the panel rejected projects that were approved by officials.

Mr O'Dowd said the $14m spent in Flynn from the fund was "nothing to sneeze at".



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