Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

‘Our community is hurting’: Federal funds dry up

GLADSTONE has not benefited from $150 million in funding originally pitched to help upgrade female change rooms and swimming pool upgrades.

This adds to a list of federal support the region has missed out on recently.

It was reported yesterday that Gladstone Regional Council did not receive a $1-million grant for bushfire recovery.

And in January the region missed out on inclusion in an extension of drought funding worth up to $1 million.

Acting mayor Chris Trevor described the situation as "disheartening and demoralising".

"We're just having a bad run of outs at the moment and our community is hurting," Cr Trevor said.

"Our grant officers work very hard to achieve an outcome for our community only to find out our application is unsuccessful."

Cr Trevor did not attribute the poor success rate to a lack of effort by Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd.

His message to Canberra is to listen to the local member and listen to the Gladstone community.

"We'll just continue to lobby with the assistance of our local federal member Ken," Cr Trevor said.

Cr Trevor said the public's faith in elected representatives had been damaged by claims funding had been disproportionably allocated to marginal electorates.

"The community just doesn't trust politicians anymore," he said.

According to the federal opposition, Gladstone missed out on funding from the Female Facilities and Water Safety Stream because the government focused on city seats it was targeting to win in last year's election.

It said that less than 10 per cent of funding was allocated to rural and regional electorates.

"Flynn got absolutely no support … through this program," a statement from Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Senator Anthony Chisholm said.

A spokesman for Mr O'Dowd said a total of $150 million was spent supporting the development of female change room facilities at sporting grounds and community swimming facilities across Australia.

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