A TASMANIAN Council was promised nearly $A$134,000 in federal grants for CCTV cameras from the Safer Communities Fund just before a recent byelection, despite the fact it never applied for funding.
Former Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, said he would award the money to the Waratah-Wynyard council through the federal government’s Safer Communities Fund, a grants scheme designed to address crime and anti-social behaviour.
However, the grants scheme requires councils and other groups make a formal application for funds, which is then assessed and scored against merit criteria. Applicants are typically required to demonstrate the extent to which the proposed project would improve community safety, how much it would benefit from grant funding, and their capacity, capability, and resources to deliver the project.
Waratah-Wynyard council has never made a formal application for the grant, though it had planned to apply for the next round of funding in the grants scheme. It will now not need to.
“Council did not make a formal application for this funding,” a spokesperson told The Guardian recently.
Dutton also promised $60,000 for CCTV cameras to Burnie City council, which is also in the Braddon electorate. A spokesperson for Burnie Council directed any enquiries about CCTV funding to the federal government.
The Safer Communities programme is administered by the Department of Home Affairs and was established after the ending of the Safer Streets Programme on June 30, 2018. Meanwhile, the Proceeds of Crime Act is also managed by the DOHA after it was transferred from AGs in 2017.