The whereabouts of $400,000 in community funding for the Upper Hunter has been called into question by local MP Dave Layzell
The MP for Upper Hunter Mr Layzell says the Minns Labor Government made a $400,000 March election commitment that must now be honoured.
"Labor's candidate publicly made promises in the days before the March 25 poll that two Upper Hunter electorate organisations would receive $200,000 each for mental health support services regardless of the NSW Election result," Mr Layzell said.
"Now, almost eight months after Upper Hunter voters cast their ballots and the ALP delivered its first budget in September, there is silence on delivery of that promised money."
In response the NSW Special Minister of State, John Graham said "The Upper Hunter will receive $400,000 in funding from the Local Small Commitments Allocation, exactly the same as all 93 electorates in NSW."
"The projects nominated in the Upper Hunter are currently being assessed by an independent panel for merit according to the program guidelines.
Mr Graham contrasted his government's approach to the previous Coalition's saying the former government regularly used public money overwhelmingly in National and Liberal Party held seats.
"It is unfortunate Mr Layzell has decided to play politics with community funding," Mr Graham said.
The $37.2 million Local Small Commitments Allocation (LSCA) program earmarked $400,000 for one-off or ad hoc grants to each of the electorates across NSW.
It is separate to the recently closed Community Building Partnership grants of $300,000 per electorate, for which local organisations recently submitted applications.
Local Small Commitments Allocations had to nominated as an election commitment by a sitting Labor member or candidate prior to 25 March.
"Whilst community organisations and local councils nominated for election commitments have subsequently been invited to submit proposals for funding, I do have concerns if the two Upper Hunter organisations do not receive the money promised," Mr Layzell said.
"Budget Estimates was told the balance of funds from this $37.2 million program will be distributed among local councils.
"According to the program guidelines - 'the remaining portion of the allocated $400,000 .. will be .. nominated for playground and park upgrade projects to be delivered by local councils.'
"Further, the NSW Special Minister of State will determine the funding to each local council in the electorate having regard to advice from the LSCA Program Office.
"The Upper Hunter Electorate has seven councils, so I ask how will the NSW Government equitably share that money whether its $200,000, $400,000 or just a small residual amount."
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