State Govt’s jobs program to face parliamentary probe
The State Government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program is set to face parliamentary scrutiny after the Legislative Council voted in favour of inquiring into the scheme on Tuesday.
The Standing Committee on Estimates and Financial Operations, chaired by Liberal Member for North Metropolitan Tjorn Sibma, will launch an inquiry into the program, for which the State Government spent $39 million instead of the proposed $22 million.
Members for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple and Robin Scott were among those who supported the motion, which Labor member for the region Stephen Dawson voted against. Mr Scott had previously criticised the program, in which only 24 per cent of the $39 million was spent in regional WA, saying State Government funding to grassroots pro- jects was city-centric and flawed. In expressing her support of the motion, The Nationals WA Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell said she was happy to support the amendment and was “interested to see, should the whole motion get up and the estimates committee does the inquiry in this very worthy motion, what the outcome of that will be”.
The committee is to inquire into the how each project was developed, evaluated and selected for funding under the program, how payments were made and acquitted to ensure financial probity and accountability, how actual or perceived conflicts of interest were declared and managed, the number of projects funded and, for each project, the amount of funding provided and number of jobs created.
It will also evaluate whether community, education, arts and sporting groups within the State were afforded an equal opportunity to access the program.