Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Labor’s Dodgy Mobile Black Spot Funding Faces ANAO Probe

Labor’s Dodgy Mobile Black Spot Funding Faces ANAO Probe

Labor’s dodgy funding of the Mobile Black Spot Program is facing serious scrutiny by the Auditor-General.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has confirmed that the Government’s handling of the program has been included in its list of performance audits for 2023-24.

According to the ANAO, the audit would assess whether Round 6 of the program was effective and consistent with the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman welcomed the potential audit after referring the matter to the ANAO for review in March this year.

“My case to the Auditor-General was that Labor’s Round 6 of the Mobile Black Spot Program failed to meet key principles for grants administration,” Mr Coleman said.

“I argued that it was clear that Michelle Rowland’s hand-picking of grants to Labor seats simply didn’t stack up when it came to governance and accountability standards. 74% of grants were in Labor seats, despite the ALP only holding one-third of seats in non-metropolitan Australia.

“The decision by the Auditor-General is significant. An investigation is needed into Labor’s selection of sites prior to the election when ALP candidates benefited from promises of improved mobile coverage.

“Minister Rowland has so far refused to release any documents about this dodgy scheme. She must now volunteer to provide all relevant documents to the Auditor General.

“Communities in bushfire-risk areas and others desperate for better coverage missed out on funding. If they weren’t in Minister Rowland’s list, they weren’t even allowed to apply.

“A probe by the Auditor-General is necessary to get all the facts on the table about Labor’s political bias in its running of this vital program.”

The Hon. David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications