Less than 24 hours after Bridget McKenzie resigned over Sports Rorts, new revelations reveal grants awarded by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in the lead up to the 2019 election went almost exclusively to Coalition seats or Coalition targets.
An investigation by Channel 9 reveals Michael McCormack awarded 156 of 166 projects to Coalition seats or to seats targeted by the Coalition under Round 3 of the Building Better Regions Infrastructure Fund.
Michael McCormack’s cash splash saw $185 million funnelled into projects to support Coalition MPs or candidates at the election out of a possible $197 million.
Coalition seats or Coalition targets received 94 percent of projects and 94 percent of funds.
Only 10 projects were awarded to five safe Labor or Independent seats, worth $12 million.
23 eligible regional and outer-urban seats held by the Labor Party at the election missed out completely. 13 eligible Coalition seats and one eligible Independent seat failed to secure a project.
Regional communities call Building Better Regions a lottery – little did they know Scott Morrison and Michael McCormack loaded the dice against them.
It is clear there isn’t a publicly funded grants program that the Morrison Government won’t use for its own political purposes.
I have asked the Auditor-General to take a thorough look at what clearly appears to be another Morrison Government rort. The Auditor-General indicated he will consider an audit as a part of his 2020-21 work plan.
People in regional Australia and the outer suburbs of our major cities want a Federal Government that will create jobs and grow investment in their communities.
Instead, Australians are being left behind by Liberals and Nationals who are too busy fighting over their own jobs to care about jobs in regional Australia.
Michael McCormack must immediately provide a full explanation of how he oversaw this grants program that is clearly a publicly-funded pre-election cash splash for Coalition seats and seats targeted by the Coalition.