City-to-country was a $10.9m flop

A $10.9 MILLION program designed to encourage people to move to regional areas did not receive a single application in the 12 months before it was axed in the Federal Budget, Senate estimates has revealed.

The Federal Government spruiked the benefits of its Promoting Regional Living Program in the wake of last year's budget.

In fact, as of Tuesday, the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport was still promoting the program on its website. But the program was scrapped in the 2012-13 budget, providing "savings of $10.9 million over four years from 2011-12", the budget papers read.

Under the Promoting Regional Living Program, groups of councils were able to apply for grants of up to $1 million to sell regional living, based on the Evocities program, which comprises seven NSW regional cities and tries to encourage capital city residents to move to one of the member cities.

The Federal Government committed more than $40 million in the 2012-13 Budget to new initiatives within the Regional Australia department.



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