Government kept spending on Commercial Ready despite closure

Almost $20,000 in taxpayer funds were spent on a meeting of advisors to Commercial Ready went ahead despite the Federal Government already having decided to close the program.

Almost $20,000 in taxpayer funds were spent on a meeting of advisors to Commercial Ready went ahead despite the Federal Government already having decided to close the program.

The private sector panel members came together from around the country to make decisions on the next round of Commercial Ready grants and did so, recommending that four grants of $7.5 million each be awarded.

But little did they know that the Budget razor gang had already decided to abolish the scheme, removing any need for the meeting and making its recommendations pointless.

The meeting was revealed by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research in its response to questions from Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.

Abetz says he is outraged that taxpayers will have to foot the bill of more than $20,000 to cover the costs of the meeting when the Government new it didn’t need to go ahead.

“There was absolutely no reason to secretly close the program prior to it being announced on budget night, let alone waste this $20,000 on a cover-up,” Abetz says

“But given the decision was taken, why weren’t the meeting participants simply told the meetings were being deferred, rather than go through an expensive charade?”

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