Friday 3rd of April 2020

ahhhh.... it wasn't about sport!...

not about sport...   Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg personally announced sports grants under the controversial $100m program overseen by Bridget McKenzie – with Morrison even boasting the program “isn’t about sport” but rather “community” while unveiling a $200,000 grant in his electorate.

On Wednesday the auditor general released a scathing report on the program, finding it had a distributional bias in favour of marginal seats and suggesting the then sports minister may have lacked legal authority to approve grants.

On Monday Labor stepped up its attack on Morrison’s involvement, with the shadow small business minister, Brendan O’Connor, saying it “beggars belief” that the prime minister, the “campaigner in chief” at the 2019 election, did not know how funding was allocated.

scomo: I did not know my sporting arse was on fire as well...


“The auditor general’s report was very serious and we are acting on its recommendations and moving quickly to do that,” Morrison said.

“And on top of that there are some legal issues raised by the auditor general which I’m moving quickly with the attorney general to ensure that they’re clarified as soon as possible.”

The attorney general Christian Porter told Guardian Australia: “The auditor-general made comments concerning the legal basis for ministerial involvement in the relevant process and given the lack of any conclusive view offered by the auditor-general, the prime minister has sought further consideration of the issue, which I am attending to.”

Asked if he or his office played any role in allocation of the grants, Morrison replied: “The decisions were done in accordance with the process the minister set out, that was the minister made those decisions and they were actioned in an endorsing way by Sports Australia, that’s how it worked.”

On 3AW Radio, Morrison said the cabinet had approved the program but individual grants were made by the minister and Sports Australia.

Asked if Liberal head office had any role in deciding where grants should be made, Morrison replied: “Not that I can speak of.”


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hypocrite scomo scores an own goal in his underwear...

Scott Morrison's local soccer club embarked on a building project costing more than half a million dollars in October 2018, more than a month before sport grants were announced, without having enough funding to complete the project.

Key points:
  • Scott Morrison's local soccer club started a construction project that was only partly funded more than a month before Community Sport Infrastructure grants were announced
  • A club representative posted on Facebook that the final stage of funding was secured but they were still waiting to confirm when it would arrive
  • Mr Morrison has previously appointed the president of the club, an online underwear entrepreneur, to a government board


An administrator of the Lilli Pilli Football Club indicated in a Facebook post on October 31 that year the remaining funding was coming so that construction would be finished by the start of the following season — even though applicants in the scheme were being assessed at the time.

The club announced $200,000 in funding from the scandal-plagued Community Sport Infrastructure grant program on December 22.

According to a report from auditor-general Grant Hehir that found bias in the scheme, the office of then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie received representations from MPs including through Mr Morrison's office during her assessment of applications.


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Conclusion: the Scott Morrison's government should be dismissed pronto... Bridget McKenzie should be sacked. Angus Taylor should sack himself, etc... Not only these guys had their nose in the trough, their ugly butts were in it as well...

"corruption" is written in the ministerial discretion...

A federal independent commission against corruption would get to the bottom of the sports grants scandal, according to Tony Harris, who was the auditor-general of NSW for seven years.

Key points
  • The Federal Government awarded $100 million of sports grants just prior to the election
  • Former NSW auditor-general Tony Harris says he would have referred the matter to the ICAC had it happened in his jurisdiction
  • There is no federal body with the powers of an ICAC to investigate corruption


Mr Harris said if the sports grants case came across his desk during his tenure as NSW's chief accountability officer he would have referred it for an investigation.

"I would be obliged to advise the Independent Commission Against Corruption about the matter," he told the ABC's PM program.

"I would expect them to have an inquiry into the matter."

A federal auditor-general's report released this month found $100 million worth of sports grants were awarded by the Federal Government just prior to the last election, with marginal seats targeted by then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie during the selection process.

Senator McKenzie has defended herself by saying she had every right to involve herself in the process.

"Ministerial discretion was actually written into the guidelines for a purpose," she said.


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shooting herself, in her feet of clay...

Federal cabinet minister Bridget McKenzie approved a $36,000 taxpayer-funded grant for a clay target shooting club in regional Victoria without publicly disclosing she was a member.

The embattled Nationals deputy leader is engulfed in a growing controversy surrounding a $100 million federal government "slush fund", which a damning audit last week revealed was used to splash cash at marginal electorates ahead of last year's federal election.


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the pork-barrelling trough is deep...

Councils and sports clubs in former PM's [Tony Abbott] seat received $1m in grants.

Trent Zimmerman did not declare to parliament that he was a patron of the Hunters Hill Rugby Club, which received $500,000 grant just before election.

Councils and sports clubs in Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah received more than $1m in grants under a controversial federal program, including a $70,000 grant to a surf lifesaving club of which Abbott was a member.

The Guardian can also reveal that a second Coalition MP failed to declare his connection to a rugby union club in Sydney’s affluent north shore, which received a $500,000 grant just before the election.

The revelations come as Scott Morrison said he had referred former sports minister Bridget McKenzie’s handling of the $100m sports grants program to his department to investigate whether ministerial standards were breached.

On Wednesday Guardian Australia reported that nine clubs which received funding under the $100m sports grants programs have links to current Coalition ministers, MPs and senators, including the Wangaratta Clay Target Club, which received $35,980 and boasts McKenzie as a member.


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Don't expect this "investigation" to find any "rules" having been breached... All clear for the rorts express... McKenzie’s job and MPship will be deemed "above board"... Scott Morrison should sack himself but he won't.

being WRU in pyne country...

A rugby union club in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs won a $500,000 grant for new female change rooms under the Coalition’s sports grant program despite not fielding a women’s team since 2018 when it was embroiled in a sexism controversy.

The club, located in the Coalition-held marginal seat of Sturt, was awarded the maximum available grant under the scandal-ridden $100m community sport infrastructure fund just weeks before the 19 May election.

Announcing its success in securing the grant, the club thanked the offices of the then Liberal MP Christopher Pyne and the state Liberal deputy leader Vicki Chapman, who is also a club sponsor.

It was one of a number of grants that the Nationals minister Bridget McKenzie directed to government-held marginal seats under the program, which the auditor general found prioritised funding in Coalition marginal and target seats while ignoring a merit-based assessment process undertaken by Sport Australia.


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a rorter is a rorter is a mckenzie...

Bridget McKenzie’s office approved nine sport grants in key seats that it asked Sport Australia to assess after applications closed, despite a warning from the agency that it was “not appropriate” to accept or fund the projects.

The direct request from McKenzie’s office to Sport Australia under the controversial sport rorts affair asked it to consider nine new applications that had either been substantially amended or were new on March 20 – less than two months before the May election.

Four of the applications that came directly from the minister’s office came from proponents who had not submitted an application when the grants were open publicly in August and September 2018.


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Whether these rorts and other rorts like MPs slanted signs in chinese influenced the result of the last elections, the election should be deemed null and void for corruption in intent to influence voters with porkbarelling.

NULL AND VOID. BACK TO THE BALLOT BOX... If Scott Morrison had any Christian ethics he would sack McKenzie, Taylor and then sack himself... We now know his "miracle" was thus based on RORTS, as well as bullshit from the Murdoch media... 

a fate that deserves a prison term, after a demotion...

The fate of Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie could come to a head this weekend, as newspaper reports unearthed further revelations into the so-called $100 million sports rorts scandal.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked his head of department Philip Gaetjens to investigate whether any part of Senator McKenzie’s handling of the $100 million Community Sport Infrastructure Program breached ministerial standards.

Mr Morrison is expected to hear from Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary as soon as Sunday.

An auditor-general report found the program favoured coalition marginal and targeted seats before last year’s federal election.

The audit found in the third round of the program, 73 per cent of projects given funding were not recommended by Sport Australia.

The Weekend Australian reports two of Mr Morrison’s senior staffers were involved in handling funding applications under the grants program before presenting them to Senator McKenzie when she was sports minister prior to the last year’s federal election.

Mr Morrison has rejected suggestions that funding allocations originated from his office.

Nine newspapers also reported that Senator McKenzie signed off on more that $1 million in grants for shooting clubs and associations, potentially opening her up to further allegation of conflicts of interest.

Senator McKenzie, a keen shooter herself, has repeatedly refused to step down from her leadership role in the Nationals party and from the government front bench as agriculture minister.


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free ham from the pork industry....

Accused pork-barrelling minister Bridget McKenzie accepted a free Christmas ham from the pig industry, but took three months to declare her purchase of a $2 million investment property in beachside Melbourne.

Her office on Sunday explained away the delay of her declaration on the purchase as the result of a long settlement, but meeting the mortgage repayments could soon prove eye-watering if she loses her $350,000-a-year salary as a minister.

Parliamentary guidelines require MPs to update the register of interests within 35 days of buying a property.

Senator McKenzie bought her new abode on October 12, but did not declare the purchase until late January.

She updated her register in November but did not mention the sale.

Her office said the property only formally settled this month and she had then declared the purchase to Parliament.


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she overcooked the bacon...

Has Bridget McKenzie broken any rules?

The Senator has made a full-throated defence of her actions. She has noted all projects that received money were "eligible" to do so, as has the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer.

"Right now, as a result of our investment, parents are watching their kids get active on a Saturday morning instead of going down to Bunnings and cooking sausages to earn money," Senator McKenzie said last week.

But merely because a project was eligible to receive the money does not mean it was deserving of funding.

Professor Twomey has warned that Senator McKenzie may have broken "rules" in three ways. First, by awarding public money on a political basis, she may have failed in her duty to act impartially. Second, she may have selected which organisations received $100 million without legal authority. And third, Professor Twomey writes in The Australian Financial Review, the whole scheme of the Commonwealth giving money to sporting organisations may be outside the constitutional provisions that separate state and federal responsibilities.


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She should sack herself. Scomo should sack her and sack himself. The porkballelling miraculous bacon has been burn to crisp... At least Ros Kelly did the right thing for doing far less than this ugly (politically) woman.

the VIP flying sow...

Gun-toting Bridget McKenzie slugged taxpayers over $40,000 for a VIP flight from Adelaide to Western Australia for a Nationals conference and a shooters’ expo, where she declared shooters didn’t want “special deals” but were sick of being treated like “pariahs and terrorists”.

The embattled Agriculture Minister, who faces calls to resign over the sports rorts affair – including her own links to shooting clubs – chose to charter a private jet at taxpayers’ expense despite the fact Finance Minister Mathias Cormann flew from Adelaide to Perth on a domestic flight during the same period.

The total costs were extraordinary, running to $40,230, including flying the RAAF plane empty from Canberra to Adelaide and from Perth back to Canberra.

The Adelaide-Busselton leg alone cost more than $14,000 – or more than a single person receives on Newstart to live for a year.

Senator McKenzie travelled to Busselton in October 2018 for the Nationals’ state conference, where she promptly attacked the Labor government for the state of the terminal.

“It is very disappointing that the state government has not seen to maintain its commitment to this community and the broader region to actually finish the terminal,” she said.


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unrigorous, opaque and indefensible...


Sport Australia warned the then minister Bridget McKenzie that she could not claim to have followed a “rigorous, transparent and defensible” process under the controversial sports rorts program if she defied the organisation’s recommendations, along with a caution that she would have to defend her handling of the program at Senate estimates.

Emails provided to a Senate inquiry probing the community sport infrastructure grant program reveal that Sport Australia fired its first warning shot to the minister about her handling of the $100m fund as early as December 2018, raising concern that she was overriding recommendations in the first round of the program.

In this round, a scathing auditor general report found that almost half of all the projects that secured funding had not been recommended by Sport Australia after it conducted a merit-based assessment process.


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