Taxpayers Fork Out $770,000 Above Funding Limit For Westrac Training Centre In Collie

Retiring former Treasurer and Liberal Leader Mike Nahan has said a decision to award a mining automation training centre in Collie $770,000 more in government grants than the funding rules allowed was a "desperate" attempt to keep the Collie-Preston electorate in Labor hands.

The Kerry Stokes-backed Westrac Technology Training Centre, which trains workers to operate automated Caterpillar mining trucks, opened in August after securing $2.77 million in taxpayer funding in January through the $20 million Collie Futures Fund.

The amount available under the fund's large grants program is capped at $2 million per project, according to guidelines administered by the South West Development Commission, meaning the Westrac centre received 38.5 per cent more than the cap and nearly 14 per cent of the entire Collie Futures Fund.

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