Regional Tasmania may have received the most federal grants under a program on the receiving end of a tough national audit office probe this week, but many are sure the decisions stack up.
The Australian National Audit Office's report, tabled during Melbourne Cup festivities on Tuesday, had been tasked with looking over federal Regional Jobs and Investment Packages.
The assessment was launched after complaints from Labor that the $220 million program was slanted toward Coalition electorates.
Though it found "no bias clearly evident" in the assessment and decision-making processes, the ANAO did find the decisions did not always square with advice. The ministerial panel's final decision differed from the department on 132 of the 232 recommended applications.
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A total of 152 applications were received from regional Tasmania - defined as the area outside Greater Hobart - with 49 approved.
Almost half were located in the Labor-held seat of Lyons. All but four of the remaining grants went to the key seats of Bass and Braddon.
The regions with the next closest application and approval totals received 86 and 31 respectively. All up, the grants delivered $27.18 million in funding to the state.
Political analyst Kevin Bonham said the spread of successful grants across Tasmania played into the "usual perceptions" of Northern favouritism within the state.
He added it would be hard to determine whether this was based on need without seeing "a lot more detail on it".
A spokesperson for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the government would not disclose advice relating to individual grants but hit out at those "cherry picking" from the report.
They said the report recommendations had been accepted, with the program leveraging an estimated $467.8 million extra toward projects.
Lyons Labor MHR Brian Mitchell was confident the grants in his electorate would "stack up", but thought the report had put them "under a cloud" nationwide.
Chief executive of the Tasmanian arm of Regional Development Australia, Craig Perkins, said the marker of the grants' success would be the outcomes delivered by them.
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