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Another $105 million pork barrelled before 2019 election

by Callum Foote | Sep 27, 2022 | Election Rorts, QED

A detailed analysis by Michael West Media (MWM) reveals that the Morrison government redirected a staggering $105 million of grants from round 3 of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to marginal seats and pet projects ahead of the 2019 election.

The fund is overseen by a secretive ministerial panel, and is meant to be an open and competitive program where grants are selected on merit, unlike the totally politicised grants such as the Community Development Grants and Commuter Car Park grants.

The total funding for round 3 was $204 million, hence the level of political manipulation meant that half of the total funding was given to projects that scored and ranked far lower than many other more worthy higher rated applications.

Regional Grants: a bumper crop of rorts


What's a rort?

Conflicts of Interest

Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliament’s code of ethics, the list goes on.

Deceptive Conduct

Claiming that greenhouse gas emissions have gone down when the facts clearly show otherwise; breaking the law on responding to FoI requests; reneging on promised legislation; claiming credit for legislation that doesn’t exist; accepting donations that breach rules. You get the drift of what behaviour this category captures.

Election Rorts

In the months before the last election, the Government spent hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers’ money on grants for sports, community safety, rural development programs and more. Many of these grants were disproportionally awarded to marginal seats, with limited oversight and even less accountability.

Dubious Travel Claims

Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. All above board, maybe, but does it really pass the pub test? Or does it just reinforce the fact that politicians take the public for mugs?

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