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Sports rorts on steroids: Coalition’s $4.8 billion Urban Congestion Fund

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Deceptive Conduct | Election Rorts | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

Sports rorts on steroids: Coalition’s $4.8 billion Urban Congestion Fund

November 2018 – ongoing
Michael West Media revealed more than a year ago the pork barrelling of the commuter car park fund, as confirmed by the national auditor general. Projects worth $660 million were handpicked by the government on advice of its MPs and candidates.

Part of the $4.8 billion federal Urban Congestion Fund program was used at the government’s discretion to fund projects mainly in Liberal-held or marginal seats at the 2019 election.

The federal government shut down a plan to award the money on merit.

Not one of the 47 commuter car park sites promised by the Coalition at the 2019 election was selected by the Infrastructure Department.

The department – which at the time was reporting to minister Paul Fletcher and then Alan Tudge in the lead-up to the election – decided there would be no formal call for submissions and projects would be identified and selected by the government.

Of the 23 federal seats selected for the projects, 15 were held by the Coalition and eight by Labor.

The funding was overwhelmingly allocated to Victoria – 38 per cent – followed by NSW, which received 16 per cent. The most successful electorates were Goldstein (six projects), Deakin (five projects), Kooyong (four projects) and Banks (four projects), all Coalition-held. Labor’s seat of Lindsay, a key marginal won by the Coalition, received three projects.

Pork ‘n ‘Ride — another election-winning rort for the Coalition

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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