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Report critical of regional grants scheme -

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(generated from captions) a milk company that folded before the ink on the funding announcement was dry, an ethanol companty worth a dollar that's yet to produce a drop of fuel, and a hotel funded to run 'Wacky Wednesdays' and stump bikini babes while other communities on the Atheron Tablelands cry out for drinkable water. There was $1.4 million to dredge Tumbi Creek, despite claims it was a waste of money,

and $1.2 million for an ethanol plant in John Anderson's electorate made after his chief of staff intervened, which the Senate report says should never have happened. We recommend that it be a formal policy that ministers and their staff are kept strictly at arms length. The Government just doesn't hand out $1.2 million - it's called due diligence. There was $660,000 for a bankrupt railway project in Queensland which the inquiry found was made for political purposes and completely bypassed normal procedures. The Opposition and minor parties called for future grants to be vetted by area consultative committees, for regular reports to parliament and for the National Audit Office to be called in. Government Senators disagreed...

They have showed contempt for regional Australia. ..but everyone wants the program retained. Craig McMurtrie, Lateline.

The Australian share market has recorded it's biggest 2-day fall in four years. The losses follow a pattern set in the United States this week after signals from the US Federal Reserve that it's worried about inflation. Rachel Carbonell reports. The Australian share market has lost about $40 billion in two days. The ASX 200 and the All Ordinaries fell by more than 2% for the second day in a row. The falls follow similar declines in the United States, which happened after US Federal Reserve officials touted another interest rate rise to protect against inflation. The Federal Reserve has come through and said, "OK, we've got some estimates. "I'm not really worried about growth. "I'm worried about inflation. "I'm going to keep pushing up interest rates." And so the markets have started to think "Higher interest rates, lower profits, "therefore we'll come back."