Scott Morrison says the Government’s $2 billion bushfire relief fund will be set aside for seats won by a margin of less than 3% at the last federal election.
Mr Morrison was unapologetic about the policy, saying it was important the funds were spent efficiently.
“In times like these, it’s absolutely crucial that these bushfire funds are allocated to the regions where they are needed most. Places like Chisholm in inner Melbourne, or Wentworth on Sydney harbour – I mean they’re on a knife edge”.
He rejected the suggestion that funds should flow to areas actually affected by the recent bushfires.
“My heart goes out to people in those areas. But the point is, while they may have lost millions of hectares of property, they’re not in danger of losing the next election, are they. We have to make sure funds flow where they are needed”.
The PM said instead of being negative about the allocation of the funds, people should focus on the positive impact the money was already having. “You walk around Double Bay – which is on a margin of 1.3% – or Box Hill – which is on a margin of just 0.5% – and you see all of the great initiatives that have been made possible by the bushfire funds. I don’t think you’re going to see bushfires in those places in the future”.
With Paul Dovas