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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6396


Mr CREAN (HothamMinister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for the Arts) (12:00): I think it is absolutely essential that these funding initiatives are based on a needs basis and on proposals that stack up. We had to end that dreadful regional rorts program that the Howard government presided over: it funded the draining of the Tumby Creek, and it drained itself; it funded a cheese factory that was on the nose and went bust—

Mr Tehan: Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order on relevance. I did not ask about the Howard government; I asked about this government. They were three good questions that I would like answered.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms K Livermore ): The member for Wannon will resume his seat and the minister will return to the questions.

Mr CREAN: I will return to the question because I think it is important to base it on need and on integrity in the projects to make sure that they stack up and that they have rigour. That is what we are insisting upon. We do not want a return to those bad old days, and I hope that what we are doing with this funding and with this model is embedding the way in which we approach this problem for all time into the future.

As for the other dimensions of your question, it is true, generally speaking, that applications for RDAF funds will not get a tick if they can be funded through another source. But it is also true that there can be—

Dr Stone: Not for the silos.

Mr CREAN: We are thinking beyond the silos.

Dr Stone interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Murray will stop interjecting.

Mr CREAN: I think the member for Murray shows a total ignorance of everything that has been said to date and, as usual, just carps away single-mindedly. She cannot get out of the silo, so I ask her to keep quiet while I am answering the question—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Everyone will keep quiet, please.

Mr CREAN: because I think it is important to think beyond the silo. And if, in fact, the road dimension can be funded under another proposal, that is where we should be actively encouraging it to seek funding from. But if, in fact, there is a gap—something that falls between the stools—then we may have to look flexibly at that type of an opportunity.

The third part of the question?