Clayton Barr says grants handed out before the last election was blatant pork barreling by then Arts Minister Don Harwin and Deputy Premier John Barilaro who ignored expert recommendations and used the 94% of the $47 million in Coalition Seats.
Cessnock Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) sought $118,700 to convert its lighting to a more energy efficient LED system- assessors ranked this project extremely high.
According to the documents, the project was ranked 13th out of a possible 159 applications however the council-owned venue missed out on a grant to update their lighting to LED not because of the meritoriousness of the project which was ranked highly by the grant assessors but nearly because Cessnock is an ALP safe seat.
“This project would have been of great benefit for the local community as many local organisations and groups use the Performing Arts Centre and it has become a cultural hub for the entire community.”Clayton Barr
56 projects were funded across 23 electorates.
- $31 million went to National Seats
- $12 million went to Liberal Seats
- $2.96 million went to minor parties seats(Shooters and Fishes and Greens)
- $4,000 to ALP Seats
Former Arts Minister, Mr Harwin has referred all questions to Premier Gladys Berejiklian who assumed the role of Arts Minister after he resigned from the ministry in April.