Funding a win for independents

AN EXTRA $21 million secured for the upgrade of the Port Macquarie Hospital has highlighted again the power of independents to secure funding for their electorates, according to independent candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson.

Originally $75 million was secured for the project by Federal independent Rob Oakeshott, but this was increased to $96 million in an announcement from Federal Health Minister Fiona Roxon on Friday.

Mr Williamson said this funding was at odds with comments made by Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell in a press release last week where he said Mr Oakeshott had “achieved very little for his electorate.”

“If Mr Cansdell thinks $96 million for health funding is ‘achieving very little’ then this is further proof he is not fit to represent the people of Clarence,” Mr Williamson said.

Mr Cansdell dismissed Mr Williamson’s claim as “desperate”. He highlighted a 2009 Auditor-General’s report which indicated seats held by Government and Opposition members received up to 30% more in grants than seats held by independents.



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