Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell has challenged the Minns Labor Government to show his electorate the money, with the local community still not advised whether a $400,000 March election commitment has been honoured.
Mr Layzell said Labor’s candidate publicly made promises in the days before the March 25 poll that two Upper Hunter electorate organisations would receive $200,000 each for mental health support services, regardless of the election result.
“Now, almost eight months after Upper Hunter voters cast their ballots, and three months after the ALP delivered its first budget in September, there is silence on delivery of that promised money,” Mr Layzell said.
The $37.2 million Local Small Commitments Allocation (LSCA) program earmarked $400,000 for one-off or ad hoc grants to each of the 93 electorates across NSW.
It is separate to the recently closed Community Building Partnership grants of $300,000 per electorate, for which local organisations recently submitted applications.
Local Small Commitments Allocations had to nominated as an election commitment by a sitting Labor member or candidate prior to 25 March.
Premier Chris Minns and Special Minister of State John Graham have both been grilled by the NSW Nationals at Budget Estimates in recent weeks to explain the details of the Local Small Commitments Allocation program.
“Whilst community organisations and local councils nominated for election commitments have subsequently been invited to submit proposals for funding, I do have concerns if the two Upper Hunter organisations do not receive the money promised,” Mr Layzell said.
“Budget Estimates was told the balance of funds from this $37.2 million program will be distributed among local councils.
“According to the program guidelines – ‘the remaining portion of the allocated $400,000 .. will be .. nominated for playground and park upgrade projects to be delivered by local councils.’”
“Further, the NSW Special Minister of State will determine the funding to each local council in the electorate having regard to advice from the LSCA Program Office.
“The Upper Hunter Electorate has seven councils, so I ask how the NSW Government will equitably share that money.”