Car Park Rorts

Mr Morrison is all about himself and doesn’t really care about you.

That’s why when things go wrong – whether it is the bushfires or the COVID-19 vaccine rollout – he doesn’t take charge. But when things go right, he’s the first to take the credit.

Desperate to win the 2019 election, Mr Morrison announced a $500 million Commuter Car Park fund – where he promised to build commuter carparks to help Australians get, “home sooner, safer, spending time with family.”

But, almost three years later, Mr Morrison has been caught out spending taxpayer’s money like it’s Liberal Party money.

Mr Morrison’s car park fund blew out to $660 million and was beset with construction delays, with only two car parks actually completed.

Incredibly, the Morrison Government decided that 87% of the car park funding would go to Liberal seats, or seats they wanted to win at the 2019 election.

This is a big call, but this scandal has everything: ineligible projects, rampant under-delivery, the political targeting of projects and secret spreadsheets shared between the then-Minister and Mr Morrison’s Office.

This is Sports Rorts on an industrial scale, and just like with Sports Rorts this scandal goes right to the top.

Mr Morrison is not interested in what you want or need. He’s not on your side. He’s only in it for himself. 

What you need to know

  • The Morrison Government announced the Urban Congestion Fund as part of the 2018–19 Budget. But, over time, Mr Morrison dramatically increased the size of the taxpayer-funded Urban Congestion Fund from $1 billion to $4.8 billion.
  • The $660 million National Commuter Car Park Fund is a component of the Urban Congestion Fund, but its future was doomed from the start.
  • The Australian National Audit Office issued a damning independent report on 28 June 2021.
  • 87% of the car parks were to be built in Liberal seats, or seats they wanted to win at the 2019 election.
  • None of the 47 project sites selected were proposed by experts in the Infrastructure Department.
  • Instead, Liberal MPs, Senators and candidates chose where the car parks would be built – all overseen by Mr Morrison.
  • Ten of the car parks are not even attached to a train station, despite the Fund being specifically designed to help commuters.
  • At least one ineligible project was selected for funding.
  • After almost three years, only two car parks have actually been completed, with many other car parks over budget and behind schedule.

A $660m taxpayer funded Liberal rort

Instead of using infrastructure experts to decide where $660 million of taxpayer’s money should be spent building car parks, Mr Morrison personally got involved. The result? 87% of the car parks were to be built in Liberal seats, or seats they wanted to win at the 2019 election.

Rorting by media release

The Audit Office asked the Department of Infrastructure to justify why it had funded a car park in Mitcham (in Liberal Michael Sukkar’s electorate). It asked for the formal approval paperwork the Department had received form the Morrison Government, and why Mitcham was chosen. The Department could only provide a media release from Mr Morrison. No expert evidence or reasons for building the car park could be provided.

Experts ignored, money shovelled out the door

“Getting people on to public transport, getting people off the roads.” That’s what Mr Morrison promised his $660 million Commuter Car Park Fund would do before the 2019 election. In fact, this was only ever about spending taxpayer’s money like it’s Liberal Party money. Experts were ignored and Liberal politicians and candidates decided how to spend your taxes to help them get elected.

Cost blow-outs and delays

Mr Morrison’s Car Park Rorts meant that proper assessments could not be completed. This has led to unbelievable budget blowouts and delays. The proposed car park at Ringwood, for example, is now expected to cost taxpayers almost $30 million – double the original price. The Heathmont car park, meanwhile, has already blown out to almost $19 million.

It’s time for a Federal Anti-Corruption Commission

Rort after rort, scandal after scandal. It is clear that Mr Morrison spends taxpayer money like it’s Liberal Party money. It must stop. Labor is committed to the establishment of a powerful, transparent and independent anti-corruption commission.


The Facts

We know the facts matter. Here you can find further details about Mr Morrison’s Car Park Rorts.

2018

2019

  • 11 January – Mr Morrison approves 11 car park sites valued at $103 million.
  • 24 March – Mr Morrison approves 1 more car park site valued at $16 million, increasing total allocated funding to $103 million.
  • 27 March – Mr Morrison announces the Gosford car park site for $30 million. The first the Department knew about this site being selected was when the Minister’s office told the Department to include it in the announcement materials just days before the media announcement.
  • In the 2019-20 Budget, Mr Morrison dramatically increased the size of the taxpayer-funded Urban Congestion Fund from $1 billion to $4.8 billion, with a $500 million National Commuter Car Park Fund component.
  • The National Commuter Car Park Fund was designed to “improve access to public transport by funding park and ride facilities at rail stations”.
  • 10 April – the day before the Government goes into caretaker role, Mr Morrison approves 27 further sites totalling $389 million.
  • 5 July – Mr Morrison approves a further seven car parks as part of election commitments totalling $87 million.

2021

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