Labor will next week move to establish a Select Committee to investigate the Morrison Government’s misuse of public funds under the Community Sport Infrastructure grants program.
The Morrison Government needs to come clean with the Australian people on the true extent of rorts under the program.
Clubs and organisations that applied for these grants did absolutely nothing wrong. They applied in good faith for what the government told them was a competitive, merit-assessed grants program.
But the Auditor General’s report and now almost daily whistle-blowing have exposed this Government’s political pork-barrelling campaign on an industrial scale.
Communities that were cheated by this government deserve answers. They deserve an apology. They deserve to have confidence this type of rorting doesn’t happen again.
Despite the commendable, forensic work conducted by the Australian National Audit Office, many important questions remain unanswered including:
- Details on hundreds of additional applications that were rated highly by Sport Australia but rejected by the Government in favour of political picks;
- Which applications the Government facilitated weeks or months after the window for applications closed, and in which electorates those projects were located; and
- Who else, other than Bridget McKenzie and her office, had a hand in rorting this grants program.
Labor has sought the support of the crossbench to hold the Government accountable by establishing an inquiry, with the power to call witnesses and require the production of documents.
The proposed Select Committee will inquire into and report on the administration and award of funding under the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program, with particular reference to:
(a) Program design and guidelines;
(b) Requirements placed on applicants for funding;
(c) Management and assessment processes;
(d) Adherence to published assessment processes and program criteria;
(e) The role of the offices of the Minister, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and any external parties, in determining which grants would be awarded and who would announce the successful grants; and
(f) Any related programs or matters.