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Coalition awards big donor multimillion-dollar Covid-19 vaccine contract

January 2021

Sonic Health, which has been awarded $312 million worth of contracts since the Coalition came to office in 2013, was the fourth biggest donor from the health industry before the 2016 election.

Sonic Healthcare, which the Morrison government awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to deliver coronavirus vaccine injections to Australia’s most vulnerable, has also been one of the biggest health sector donors to the Liberal Party in the past decade.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Department of Health declined to make public how much the companies were being paid, with a spokeswoman saying that information was commercial-in-confidence.

Sonic Healthcare gave $533,500 to the Liberal Party between 2011 and 2017, with $450,000 of the cash going directly to the federal branch, according to Australian Electoral Commission records. Over the same period, it gave in-kind support of $55,000 to Labor.

Sonic has been awarded $312 million worth of contracts since the Coalition came to office in 2013.

Read more.

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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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