REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: There's a flame burning in regional communities hit by perceived pork barrelling

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If you aren't in NSW you might not have felt the anger building in fire-affected communities across the state.

It's not because of what happened during Black Summer - but rather how the NSW government has handled the follow-up.

See they announced a $177m economic recovery program following the fires, and fire-impacted councils across the state prepared plans and projects to apply for the funds.

But now its coming to light that all but $2.5m of the grant money went into Coalition-held electorates.

And in case you were wondering no, the fires didn't just burn in Coalition-held seats and neatly stop at electoral boundaries.

The Blue Mountains communities in NSW which fought the Gospers Mountain, Grose Valley and Green Wattle Creek fires didn't get a cent.

State Member for the Blue Mountains Trish Doyle hit out saying "the walls of flame that destroyed home and local businesses didn't give a damn about politics" the Blue Mountains Gazette reported.

"This is public money meant to help communities recover from the most devastating bushfire season in living memory, but Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro are distributing it based on pure politics, not on the basis of need."

For the record, the $2.5m that went to non-Coalition seats went to the towns of Cessnock and Lismore.

A state parliamentary inquiry is looking into the funds distribution.

The NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro defended the grants when he fronted the state parliament Public Accountability Committee to answer questions about the integrity of the grant programs.

So much money went into the Wagga Wagga electorate Greens MLC David Shoebridge, who is chairman of the upper house Public Accountability Committee, has accused the government of giving the NSW Riverina region a disproportionate amount of funds.

The NSW parliamentary inquiry has extended its focus in response to those claims.

And all the while communities in need wait.

Blue Mountains Council alone had a list of 24 projects ready to go if it had received funds.

Projects that will sit on hold, and perhaps projects that could change the impact of future fires.

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