Feb 25, 2020

ANTHONY ALBANESE – MEDIA RELEASE – SCOTT MORRISON AGAIN MISLEADS PARLIAMENT OVER SPORTS RORTS – TUESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2020

 

 

THE HON ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER

SCOTT MORRISON AGAIN MISLEADS PARLIAMENT OVER SPORTS RORTS

Scott Morrison has again misled Parliament by claiming all projects bankrolled under his infamous Sports Rorts program were eligible for funding despite a clear finding to the contrary by the independent Australian National Audit Office.

Last month the ANOA ruled that 43 per cent of grants made ahead of last year’s election under the $100 million Community Sport Infrastructure Grant scheme were ineligible for funding.

Despite this formal finding, Mr Morrison has claimed at least 16 times, including in the House of Representatives on February 5, that no ineligible projects were funded.

This is simply not true. Indeed, the inaccuracy of this comment was confirmed at a Senate inquiry hearing on February 13 by ANAO official Brian Boyd.

Today, in Parliament I offered Mr Morrison the opportunity to correct the record.

But instead of recognising the truth Mr Morrison doubled down, claiming “The comments that I made on that matter were made on the basis of the information that was available to me from the ANAO report.’’

For the record, the ANAO Report says:

4.31 … In this context, there were increasing risks that approved projects could have commenced works or been already delivered (in both instances, resulting in them being no longer eligible under the CSIG guidelines).

4.32 These risks were realised, with October 2019 data from Sport Australia’s grants management system indicating that:

  • eight projects were completed by the time funding agreements were executed by Sport Australia; and
  • 272 projects out of the 684 approved (or 40 per cent) across all three rounds had already commenced by the time funding agreements were executed.

4.33 In addition to program ineligibility, this situation suggests that — particularly in respect of the eight completed projects — those selected for funding under the program may not have required Australian Government funding in order to deliver their projects.

Public confidence in our political system requires that political leaders be honest, particularly before the Parliament.

Mr Morrison needs to be straight with the people of Australia.

He must correct the record when Parliament sits tomorrow.

TUESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2020