HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021
Belconnen Tennis Club was just one of hundreds of sporting clubs across Australia whose application under the sports grants program was highly rated by the department yet was not funded by the minister. Of the almost 700 programs in this hundred-million-dollar allocation, almost half, according to the Auditor-General, fell below the cut-off from the department.
Today, we've had an analysis by the Australia Institute researchers Hannah Melville-Rea, Robyn Seth-Purdie and Bill Browne of some $3.9 billion across seven grants programs. It finds that funding clearly favoured coalition seats, with marginal coalition seats receiving $184 a person while safe Labor seats received $39 a person. In terms of the national grants programs, they identified 13 seats that received zero funding, including my own electorate of Fenner. It's no surprise that a majority of those 13 seats are Labor seats.
The analysis doesn't even cover the car park rorts, or 'pork and ride', in which 47 approved car parks included not a single one selected by the infrastructure department. It doesn't even include the Safer Communities Fund, also known as 'Safer seats', in which $31 million was overturned by the home affairs minister and allocated based on his own political considerations. It's no wonder that the Liberals don't want a national integrity commission.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.