darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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October 1, 2010

A report into the $300 million failed Green Loans Program, which left many Gippslanders thousands of dollars out of pocket, has described the running of the program as ‘generally disorganised’ and ‘poorly managed’.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has been acting on behalf of local Green Loans Program assessors who have been left out of pocket. He said the performance report which was released by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) highlighted the Rudd-Gillard Government’s bungled handling of the program.

Among the findings were the program was ‘characterised by an absence of effective governance’ and ‘in the first 18 months of the program there was no accurate costing of the program or monitoring of its budget’.

Mr Chester said the report highlighted how Gippslanders were left thousands of dollars out of pocket due to an incompetent government.

“The Green Loans Program collapsed because it was completely mismanaged and became an absolute financial disaster for participants,” Mr Chester said.

“Many people spent between $2000 and $3000 to train as assessors under the program because they were assured by the Labor Government that there would be plenty of work for them to do.

“The Rudd-Gillard Government failed to administer the program properly and trained more than 10,000 assessors, many of them in Gippsland, who have been left with nothing to show for their efforts.

“Community groups also felt the full brunt of the program’s failings. They invested time and money to train participants but had their work undone by government incompetence.”

Mr Chester said he expects the report to be of little comfort for participants and has questioned whether the government will compensate people for their losses.

“The failure to properly administer the program resulted in direct financial losses to individuals and the government has left taxpayers’ exposed to claims for compensation,” Mr Chester said.

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