Posted: 10:00 am on 16th April 2014

failThe federal budget is due in about a month.

Almost unable to contain its excitement, WasteWatch has decided to dedicate a post to a few of those brave funding programs that will no longer be with us on that second Tuesday in May.

Chief among them are the T-QUAL Tourism Quality Projects program and the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program.

Some great projects have been funded through these programs.

For example, in the January to March 2014 round of funding for the Clean Tech Food and Foundries Program, two interesting projects snuck through.

On January 23, South Australian wine company Fleurieu Vintners and Boar’s Rock got nearly $250,000 of taxpayer money to, amongst other things, “insulate existing wine tanks.”

On the same day, their neighbours, Serafino Wines, got nearly $280,000 of taxpayer money to do the same thing.

Continuing the wine theme, on December 18 last year, Seppeltsfield Wines, one of Australia’s oldest wine companies, received $110,000 of taxpayer money to build a 500-seat events centre. At the expense of the taxpayer, those 500 people will “benefit from a premium food and wine experience,” in unspecified ways. Lucky people!

Perhaps WasteWatch is being unfair. After all, on November 26 last year, the T-QUAL program also gave nearly $110,000 of taxpayer money to the “historic Wyong Milk Factory” to build a “Victorian-style” chocolate shop and create an Australian Artisan Chocolate School.

A week beforehand, on November 21, the program also distributed over $75,000 of taxpayer money to “improve the nature-based, food-and-beer experience that visitors seek” at the Bright Brewery in Victoria.

WasteWatch will be sorry to see the back of programs that funded such important projects.

We’re not too unhappy though; after all, the Melbourne’s North Investment and Innovation Fund will still exist.

WasteWatch’s favourite MNIIF project so far is the $407,000 of taxpayer money given to Bon Appetit on March 25 to “install robotic equipment to manufacture European style gelato and frozen cakes.”

So fear not, Australia.

Although the “age of entitlement” has been declared over, crucial projects will continue to be funded.

William Shrubb, Research Assistant

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