Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker MP and Jenny Leong MP, Greens Member for Newtown have called for NSW Labor to disclose all grant promises following revelations on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald this morning that the Balmain Labor campaign has been caught out pitching a secret taxpayer funded grant program to community groups just days before the election.
“The NSW Liberal-National government was caught out pork-barrelling on an industrial scale with the Stronger Communities Fund grant program.
“Rather than fixing the problem, NSW Labor seems intent on following their lead.
"If NSW Labor candidates are promising taxpayer money to community organisations as a quid pro quo for support that is pork-barrelling at its worst and it is something that the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) should examine.
“It was the Greens that exposed the dodgy pork-barrelling of the Stronger Communities Fund and the Greens will work everyday in the new Parliament to expose and stamp out this sort of unethical behaviour.
"The faces have changed but this is the same old NSW Labor.
"NSW Labor has created a secret slush fund using taxpayer money for their political candidates before they have even been elected to government.
"These grant commitments contravene the most basic integrity measures to ensure the fair and transparent distribution of taxpayer funds. They are made in secret, without any declarations of conflicts of interest, no merit criteria, or independent assessment.
"I have spoken to several local community organisations who have told me they declined Labor's offer because it didn't pass the pub test.
"Community organisations should not have to pander to a political candidate to access grant funding that should always be allocated transparently and according to merit.
"There is no question that these are worthy organisations but the community expects grant funding to be allocated where it is needed, transparently and based on merit.
"The public can have no faith that a NSW Labor government will restore integrity to the grants system when their candidates are having these types of conversations days out from an election," Jamie said.