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'Extreme' Sports Rorts Secrecy and Shadiness

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 17 November 2022

Tags: Integrity, Transparency, Corruption

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Yet another layer of dodginess has been uncovered in the Liberals’ electoral bribery scheme, the Local Community Facilities Fund. 

Newly released RTI documents show more than half the LCFF projects were funded outside of regular Budget processes, without the knowledge of Parliament or the community. This is in direct contradiction to multiple statements made by the newly minted Sports Minister, Nic Street, in Budget Estimates earlier this year.

The Minister has – either knowingly or unknowingly – misled Parliament. This is a most serious matter, and it needs to be addressed.

The Greens have written to the Minister and asked him to explain himself and correct the record in Parliament at the earliest possible opportunity.

We acknowledge Minister Street did not establish or administer the dodgy, secretive LCFF, and we recognise that the Minister may have been provided with incorrect information by his Department, resulting in these false statements. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t misled the House, or that he is absolved of his responsibility under the standing orders to correct the record as soon as he is able to.

While these Right to Information documents reveal a total of 111 projects were secretly funded through the Treasurer’s Reserve, they do not answer why the haste to fund them outside the Budget and beyond Parliamentary scrutiny. Such a move required the Governor’s approval.

Why was it so important this money was shovelled out the door, outside the normal Budget process, with such ugly haste?

With conflicts of interest already found to be associated with this fund, we wonder what else the Liberals have tried to cover up in their cash splash with public money.

Given the shameful secrecy and appalling lack of proper process in the Local Communities Facilities Fund, it’s no wonder a national expert has described it as an “extreme version” of sports rorts.