Regional grants controversy won't stop Casino bio-fuel plant: Vaile

Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile says a bio-fuel plant planned for Casino, in northern New South Wales, will not be affected by the controversy surrounding the Regional Partnerships program.

The Government has come under fire after an auditor-general’s report found it spent millions of dollars on projects in marginal Coalition seats, even though some did not have proper applications.

Last month, Mr Vaile announced the Government would spend $2 million helping to plan the ethanol plant in Casino, even though a similar scheme in Gunnedah is yet to start.

He says the north coast project money came from a different fund, known as the Sustainable Regions program.

“Just remember that these projects go through a rigorous process of assessment at a local area consultative committee level,” he said.

“The local area consultative committee, and the Sustainable Regions committee vetted that particular project quite carefully, sought external advice and provided their recommendation to the Government in terms of funding the project.”

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