PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 3 MARCH 2020
SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s Rorts; Senate Estimates.
CATHERINE KING, SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Good morning. Across Senate Estimates yesterday, we saw just how deep the level of rorting of government programs is. We saw again, Road Rorts, we saw Sports Rorts and Sports Rorts 2, we saw the Urban Congestion Fund, we saw the way in which the Government has rorted drought funding, and also the environmental funds.
It would appear that it isn’t a taxpayer funded program that this Government won’t use or didn’t use for its own political purposes.
We saw with the Urban Congestion Fund, the Government spent 83 percent on Coalition and target seats. We saw the Building Better Regions Fund where the Government spent 94 percent of the $197 million again on Coalition and target seats.
On sports rorts, we saw revealed that a colour-coded spreadsheet after caretaker being sent to Sports Australia.
The Prime Minister has got some questions to answer on what his role has been in all of this rorting and all of this debacle.
The other thing we saw revealed yesterday was that the Prime Minister has set up a one-man band Cabinet Committee when he can meet with anybody, wheel documents through and then claim Cabinet confidentiality.
We saw that in the Regional Senate Estimates yesterday where basic questions were refused to be answered, basic questions around dates and timelines and guidelines, were refused to be answered by the Department on the basis of Cabinet confidentiality.
This Prime Minister is up to his neck in these rorts, and he’s got some very serious questions to answer to the Australian public.
It would appear, and I’m going to be writing today to the Australian National Audit Office, that the only way we can get to the bottom of what is actually happened across all of these programs is to have the independent Audit Office look seriously at what the Government has been doing.
Happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: Oh that’s fine. Thank you.
KING: Thank you.
TRANSCRIPT – DOORSTOP – PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA – TUESDAY, 3 MARCH 2020