Labor’s former member for Longman Susan Lamb did not release grant funds when confronted with dual citizenship problems. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Labor’s former member for Longman Susan Lamb did not release grant funds when confronted with dual citizenship problems. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Lamb left with unallocated grant money

SUSAN Lamb did not allocate out tens of thousands of dollars in grants to cash-strapped community groups in Longman as she secretly battled Labor internally over her dual citizenship crisis.

It comes as a number of not-for-profit groups are screaming out for financial help in Longman, which has high rates of intergenerational unemployment and disadvantage.

The Stronger Communities Program gives MPs $150,000 each financial year to help out worthy causes in their electorates, such as Meals on Wheels, playgroups or surf clubs or men's sheds.

Labor’s former member for Longman Susan Lamb did not release grant funds when confronted with dual citizenship problems. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Labor’s former member for Longman Susan Lamb did not release grant funds when confronted with dual citizenship problems. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

MPs can hand out grants of up to $2500 to $20,000. The grants are checked for probity by the Industry Department.

But Ms Lamb had been sitting on $45,000 at the time she was forced to quit parliament earlier this year because she was a dual citizenship.

A spokesman for Ms Lamb said there were three unsuccessful funding applications from 18, which was "not uncommon".

Highly-placed sources have told The Courier-Mail that Ms Lamb was "freaking out" about the potential of being a dual citizen early last year and was regularly seeking or requiring help from the office of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Ms Lamb, who broke down in Parliament during the trying time over how the ordeal had brought up bad childhood memories, was extremely stressed by the later half of last year.

In the past, Longman community groups that had benefited from the program included; Creche and Kindergarten Bradman Street ($19,430); Burpengary and District Men's Shed ($20,000) and Bribie Island Surf Life Saving Club (received $16,730).

 

Regional Development Minister John McVeigh said he was disappointed to see the community organisations miss out on funds. Picture: Marc Robertson
Regional Development Minister John McVeigh said he was disappointed to see the community organisations miss out on funds. Picture: Marc Robertson

Regional Development Minister John McVeigh said it was clear Ms Lamb was worried about her job.

"It is disappointing to see that local community organisations have missed out on critical infrastructure upgrades because Susan Lamb has been distracted by her citizenship crisis and saving her own job,'' Dr McVeigh said.

"Local community organisations make our towns and cities a safe and enjoyable place to live and deserve to be supported."

Across the country the program has supported more than 5000 community based projects, and a further $22.5 million in the recent Budget was injected into the fund.