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Labor steps up attack on Anderson -

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Labor steps up attack on Anderson

Reporter: Kim Landers

TONY JONES: To Canberra, now - and after a week of internal bickering, the Labor Party is trying to
regain its momentum.

It's targeted John Anderson for a second day about a funding scheme for regional projects, which
Labor insists was an election slush fund.

But the Acting Prime Minister has again angrily denied the claims, clashing with a Labor
frontbencher who was then ejected from the chamber.

From Canberra, Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: The Opposition again peppered the Government with questions about the $40 million it
announced for special regional projects during the election campaign, arguing the program had been
a slush fund.

And again, the Government denied it.

JIM LLOYD, LOCAL GOVERNMENT MINISTER: The Australian Government will not walk away from the
regional partnerships program.

It's a program that we are very proud of.

JOHN ANDERSON, ACTING PRIME MINISTER: I believe I've acted properly at all terms.

I believe the ministers have and I think that's the end of the matter.

KIM LANDERS: But it's not the end of the matter for Independent MP Tony Windsor.

He's adamant the Government attached strings to certain projects before agreeing to fund them and
today, confronted the acting Prime Minister with a claim that the Government tried to stop him from
attending the official opening of a Government-funded project in his electorate.

John Anderson denied it.

JOHN ANDERSON: I presume the normal courtesies will be extended to the Member for New England, no
more no less.

KIM LANDERS: But John Anderson wasn't ready to release documents which he says prove that the
projects, including an ethanol plant in his own electorate, complied with Government guidelines.

Labor frontbencher Martin Ferguson then taunted Mr Anderson, suggesting he would fabricate the

JOHN ANDERSON: He should withdraw without reservation.

DAVID HAWKER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I will ask him once more to withdraw.

MARTIN FERGUSON, LABOR FRONTBENCHER: It was not unparliamentary and I will not withdraw and bow to
your intimidatory pressure to protect the other side of the house.

DAVID HAWKER: The Member for Batman will remove himself from the chamber forthwith for one hour.

KIM LANDERS: There were no theatrics in the Senate, where Labor and the minor parties are edging
closer to an inquiry.

SENATOR BOB BROWN, THE GREENS: It's important that the Senate does look into the funding of the
regional programs that have now come under question.

SENATOR LYN ALLISON, INCOMING DEMOCRATS LEADER: Governments of both persuasions regard this as a
legitimate form of distribution of funding and I think it's quite appropriate for the Senate to
look into this.

KIM LANDERS: The inquiry should be set up by the end of the week.

Kim Landers, Lateline.