The parking program shows the country on a “slippery slope against corruption”

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The government has yet to respond to the submissions and submit the bill to parliament.

Professor Brown said the government should give its Integrity Committee greater powers to deal with cases of “soft” corruption.

“There is nothing to fear from greater transparency. The opportunity to show leadership has been offered to the Prime Minister and here is his chance to seize it, ”he said.

Former NSW Treasury Secretary Percy Allan said there had been an increase in the number of programs aimed at supporting governments.Credit:Louise Kennerley

Former NSW Treasury Secretary Percy Allan said an increasing number of programs were being used by political parties to maximize their electoral chances.

He said that at the federal level, the public service was under pressure not to oppose such programs as federal politicians wanted to be able to announce winning projects.

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“I think there is a transfer of power to the states, and it affects the federal government which collects all the taxes but the states can spend them,” he said.

“The federal government emphasizes the desire to announce things, to open things. “

While 47 projects were pledged, several had to be scrapped due to cost or were pledged in areas where available land is already planned for a local project. Only two car parks have been completed.

Parking Australia chief executive Stuart Norman said the government clearly needed help to bring some of the projects to fruition, noting that some of them may never move forward.

“We believe these are necessary, but expertise is needed to help deploy them and this expertise is lacking within the program partners and the Ministry of Infrastructure,” he said.

“Some of them may not be able to proceed for reasons [the federal government’s] control, so is this funding going to be used for other sites in need? “

Current Minister of Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher has defended the program, telling the ABC that parking lots are needs based, with the government aiming to reduce congestion.

“The idea of ​​community parking lots is to get people to go to a station and then get on the train to where they need to go, thus reducing congestion on the entire road network and using rail. more effectively, ”he said.

The Auditor General considered that the projects selected for funding “reflected the geographic and political profile of those who had had the opportunity to identify candidates”.

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He found that the projects had been nominated either by sitting coalition MPs, coalition duty senators for Labor seats or by liberal candidates backed in the Mayo and Macnamara electorates.

Shadow Finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher said the program was an “industrial scale” of rorting carried out with taxpayer money.

“It was a government fund, allocated by the budget, passed by Parliament, and then a decision was made by the Prime Minister that no one other than the people on this list of the top 20 marginalized could access to that money, ”she said. mentionned.

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