The scrapping of a regional development fund means more than $1million in local projects are in limbo. Sally Willoughby explains.
COUNCIL projects earmarked for grants under the previous government will not be automatically funded under the new government.
Parramatta and Holroyd projects which had been promised funding under the Regional Development Australia Fund are in jeopardy after the new government announced they would need to re-apply under the Coalition's National Stronger Regions Fund.
Federal Parramatta MP Julie Owens said the government's stance would delay the projects.
"Holroyd Council have already started upgrading their town centre, so this could be quite problematic for them," Ms Owens said.
She said it was unusual for an incoming government not to honour funding commitments made by the previous government.
"I think it's petty and is simply a dirty way for the same projects to be funded but with the Abbott government tag rather than a Gillard government tag," Ms Owens said.
"For them to have to re-apply, it's a waste of resources, a waste of time."
Projects that had reached a contract stage will still be funded.
But the revitalisation of Merrylands and Wentworthville town centres and the Constitution Hill Neighbourhood Centre upgrade, which fell under round five of the Regional Development Australia Fund, will have to be reassessed.
The council will need to resubmit an application under the National Stronger Regions Fund — a fund that prioritises communities with poor socio-economic circumstances and high unemployment.
A spokesman for Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said the previous government's "phantom funding" was based on a flawed mining tax.
"Labor recklessly and maliciously announced [Regional Australia Development Fund] projects all over the country in the lead-up to, and during, the federal election," the spokesman said.
"This was in the full knowledge they could not deliver them; indeed, that they would never have to."
He said the Coalition's $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund was fully funded in the budget.
Ms Owens said Holroyd Council risked losing $346,302 for beautification works of Merrylands and Wentworthville town centres.
A Holroyd Council spokeswoman said the council had not been told whether funds committed under the Regional Development Australia Fund were being reconsidered.
"If this were to be the case, we would be as disappointed as our community," the spokeswoman said.
She said Holroyd Council had nominated the revitalisation of Merrylands and Wentworthville town centres under round five of the fund. Parramatta Council was unable to comment by deadline.