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13 good reasons to audit Regional Partnerships.

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Media Release

Kelvin Thomson MP Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Roads; Housing and Urban Development Federal Member for Wills

9 May 2005 64/05


Correspondence from the Commonwealth Auditor General has strengthened the Opposition's argument that all is not well with the administration of the Regional Partnerships program.

I wrote to Auditor General Ian McPhee on 29 March setting out thirteen reasons why the Regional Partnerships program should be subject to the rigour of his office's independent scrutiny.

Mr McPhee's response confirms the validity of Labor's interest in the Coalition's misuse of taxpayer funds via regional programs for pork barrelling purposes in the lead up to the last Federal election.

He states:

"I have also had regard to interest in the administration of this program expressed by other Parliamentarians. As a consequence, I intend to include in the 2005-06 Performance Audit Work Program a possible performance audit of the Regional Partnerships program."

Mr McPhee also indicates he will have regard to the report of the Senate Finance and Public Administration committee which is currently inquiring into the Regional Partnerships program.

Labor will continue to vigourously pursue this matter.

Ends - Canberra 9/05/2005 Contact: Cora Trevarthen 0418/770484