Member for Wollongong Paul Scully is sick and tired of Wollongong continually missing out on state government grants programs.
Mr Scully took the unusual step of asking to speak at the NSW upper house inquiry into integrity, efficacy and value for money of NSW government grant programs.
State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp appeared alongside Mr Scully on Friday at the inquiry held inside NSW Parliament House.
"Steel cities united in a cause," Mr Scully said. "We are equally frustrated with our sometimes in, sometimes out treatment when it comes to a lot of these programs."
The inquiry also looked into the Greater Sydney metropolitan sporting grants and regional sporting grants programs - with Wollongong left out of both of them.
"I've taken the unusual step of making a submission request to be here today out of frustration both at a personal level and on behalf of my community," Mr Scully told the inquiry.
"Simply put, I don't want to see what has happened to Wollongong and Newcastle happen to any other communities at the whim of political convenience.
"Wollongong is sadly used to being overlooked by this government and whenever a new funding or grant program comes out, the first question people in Wollongong ask is, 'Is Wollongong eligible?'
"And the simple guide that has emerged under successive programs administered by this government is 'no', if it is a National party minister, and 'maybe', if it is a program administered by a Liberal minister.
"However the most insulting thing that happened to us recently has been for the entire Wollongong Local Government Area to be ruled ineligible to even apply for any of the government's sports facility funding programs."
The Wollongong MP said sadly this wasn't a bureaucratic oversight or mistake.
"It turns out that this must have been a deliberate decision of government," Mr Scully said.
"This government sought to exclude sporting groups for no other reason than they were in the Wollongong Local Government Area.
"A sports rort is one thing but the exclusion of communities where no others were excluded takes it to new levels.
A sports rort is one thing but the exclusion of communities where no others were excluded takes it to new levels.Wollongong MP Paul Scully
"Being ineligible to apply for either a metropolitan or a regional fund means you are left right out.
"That is offensive, insulting and possibly the worst public policy decision I've seen in a very long time."
Mr Scully wanted a consistent approach to where Wollongong fits in the scheme of grants programs and how that should be dealt with in the future.
"All we want is a fair shot in applying for our fair share," he said.
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