Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Shadow Minister For Communications – Media Release – Auditor-General Report Highlights Political Composition of Grants in Round 6 Of The Mobile Black Spot Program

The Auditor-General has highlighted the political nature of the Albanese Government’s funding of Round 6 of the Mobile Black Spot Program in its report handed down today.

The ANAO Report has found that:

74% of all “target locations” selected by the Minister in Round 6 were in Labor electorates (p.15)

Of the 54 “target locations, 44 were in marginal seats (p.66)

Of the 54 “target locations”, 12 did not actually receive “new or improved mobile coverage from a funded solution” (p.61)

Of the 27 “target locations” in NSW, 10 did not actually receive funding (p.68).

The Auditor-General’s Report also notes at page 65 that “One indicator of equitable treatment for officials to consider when assessing and awarding grants is the geographic and political distribution of grant funding.”

As the ANAO Report notes, 74% of the locations chosen by Minister Rowland were in Labor electorates, while 81% were in marginal electorates. Clearly, this funding allocation cannot be described as equitable – unless Minister Rowland’s view is that 74% of electorates in Australia are held by the Labor Party.

The Report notes that departmental officials have conducted themselves appropriately in their administration of the program, once Minister Rowland had provided them with the “target locations”. It makes very clear that the selection of the “target locations” was made by Minister Rowland, not by departmental officials.

It also underlines, in great detail, the political composition of the decisions made by Minister Rowland.

The Minister owes it to Australians to apologise for her conduct in her selection of “target locations” under Round 6 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

 

Shadow Minister for Communications
Member for Banks
Hon David Coleman MP