The incumbent federal member for Riverina has hit back at claims he was saving funding announcements for this election campaign.
Riverina Labor candidate Tim Kurylowicz on Monday questioned the timing of recent infrastructure announcements, including the Wagga levee bank upgrade and the state government funding announcement of the Bomen freight hub.
Michael McCormack went on the attack yesterday, rattling off a list of projects across the electorate he had announced outside of an election campaign.
The list included an indoor sports centre at Wagga’s Equex site, the Temora medical centre, upgrade of Gundagai’s Sheridan Street and the Gobarralong Bridge, the Eunony Bridge upgrade, and the Carrathool Bridge upgrade.
The assistant minister for defence also pointed to the $960 million in defence spending as well as tripling the roads to recovery funding, which he said opened up $77 million in funding for local governments to use.
“There’s been so many announcements outside an election campaign,” Mr McCormack said.
“I think (Mr Kurylowicz’s comments) are preposterous.
“I deliver as the Riverina member, and we deliver as the Nationals.”
Charles Sturt University political science Associate Professor Dominic O’Sullivan said some of the announcement timing was cynical.
“It’s not traditional pork-barrelling like what you see in a marginal seat,” Prof O’Sullivan said.
“So it makes (funding announcements) a little bit different (in a safe seat) than a straight-out bribe.”
Prof O’Sullivan said the recent announcements wouldn’t have much of an impact in the lower house voting, but it may influence the senate vote, where people were more likely to vote for a minority party.
He said the state budget could help sway votes in the upcoming election, but stopped short of saying it was a planned move.
“The budget was scheduled (on Tuesday) long before the election was announced.”