Regional pork barreling or legitimate investment?

Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey today defended decisions to hand the majority of $5 million in tourism funding to marginal coalition seats.

Yesterday she came under attack for pork barreling after she announced the recipients for the $5 million funding, which is part of the Australian Tourism Development Program.

Of the 35 grants announced yesterday, 27 went to coalition seats. Businesses in Eden-Monaro, one of the most marginal seats in NSW, received three grants totalling $300,000 to build restaurants, a cellar door and spa.

An unrepentant Bailey told SmartCompany that the majority of drought-affected areas are in coalition-held seats and that the funding was to assist drought-affected areas to boost tourism and create jobs.

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