Concerns raised by the Independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor about the Regional Development Australia Fund round four process have been clarified following meetings this week.
Mr Windsor met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and minister for regional Australia Simon Crean to express his concern about a possible shift in the rules of the development fund following round four and that no money was being was being shifted to accommodate extra projects in western Sydney.
“There were always going to be six projects put forward from Sydney for further assessment – three from RDA Sydney and three from a new RDA for Greater Western Sydney or on behalf of that area.
“There are four RDA’s in Melbourne each of which has prioritised three projects to proceed to the full application stage, " Mr Windsor said.
“As Minister Crean has announced, agreement has now been reached with the NSW Government to establish a new RDA for Greater Western Sydney.
“The applications therefore from the Local Government Areas set out in the guidelines have been given the opportunity to have their projects looked at against the priorities of the new committee based on their priorities not RDA Sydney assessment of their priorities.
“But I have been assured that no funding is being diverted or ringfaced specifically for Greater Western Sydney projects.
“They will still go through the same independent panel assessment process and against the criteria set out in the guidelines.