Sports Rorts

 

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

That’s why so many local worthy Australian communities missed out through Scott Morrison’s Sports Rorts scandal.

What kind of Prime Minister decides to hand out more than $100 million in taxpayer money to benefit Liberal electorates rather than the communities and clubs that deserved it?

He’s 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 $100 million Community Sport Infrastructure grants program was meant to provide grants based on the merit of thousands of applications against published criteria, as judged by Sport Australia.
  • Instead, the Auditor-General found the Morrison Government gave out grants with a focus on “marginal electorates held by the Coalition as well as those electorates held by other parties or independent members that were to be targeted by the Coalition at the 2019 Election”.
  • In other words, instead of giving grants to the most worthy applicants, the Morrison Government snubbed projects with scores as high as 98 out of 100 on merit and instead pumped taxpayers’ money in projects in seats it needed to win at the 2019 election.
     
    • Round 1 41 per cent of approved projects not endorsed by Sport Australia
    • Round 2 70 per cent of approved projects not on list Sport Australia planned to recommend
    • Round 3 73 per cent had not been recommended by Sport Australia
  • Scott Morrison and Bridget McKenzie weren’t content with just one massive rort.
  • In March 2019, they promised to invest $150 million more on female change rooms across the country so women and girls wouldn’t have to "get changed behind towels on the side of fields or in cars”.
  • But instead they spent more than $120 million of it on swimming pools in Coalition-held seats.

Sports Rorts 1: $100 million pork-barrelling plot

Scott Morrison’s office and the former Minister for Sport’s office exchanged 136 emails about the Community Sport Infrastructure grants program during its roll-out including 15 different versions of the now infamous colour-coded spread-sheet detailing projects in marginal and target seats.

Sports Rorts 2: $150 million for female change rooms, spent on pools

Scott Morrison and Bridget McKenzie said they would spend $150 million on female change rooms across Australia so women and girls wouldn’t have to “get changed behind towels on the side of fields or in cars” but spent nearly all of it on swimming pools in Coalition-held marginal electorates

Caught out and covering it up

Despite the damning evidence of the Morrison Government’s blatant political use of public fudns meant for sport, Scott Morrison and his Ministers continue to cover it up.

When the Senate asked for further information about Sports Rorts, this is what the Morrison Government produced.


The Facts

We know the facts matter. Here you can find further details about Sports Rorts.

  • The $100 million sports grant scheme — formally the Community Sport Infrastructure program — was set up in 2018 to give money to needy sports clubs to help with player growth. The timing of the grants program came in the months leading up to the 2019 election.
  • The Government ultimately allocated funding to 684 applicants, leaving more than 1,300 without funding.
  • The ANAO found that:
     
    • The award of grant funding was not informed by an appropriate assessment process and sound advice.
    • The successful applications were not those that had been assessed as the most meritorious in terms of the published program guidelines.
    • Sport Australia’s assessment of applications was largely in accordance with the published program guidelines.
    • Sport Australia assessed each application for eligibility and against the three merit criteria to arrive at an overall assessment score.
    • Scores against the three merit criteria were used to rank the applications, but Sport Australia did so within the three funding streams, which was not consistent with the program guidelines.
    • In parallel, the Minister’s Office had commenced its own assessment process to identify which applications should be awarded funding.
    • The Minister’s Office drew upon considerations other than those identified in the program guidelines, such as the location of projects, and also applied considerations that were inconsistent with the published guidelines.
    • It was this assessment process that predominantly informed the Minister’s funding decisions, rather than Sport Australia’s process.
    • This resulted in the assessment advice to the Minister being inconsistent with the approved program guidelines.
    • 74/100 would have been the cut off score if funding had been awarded based on Sport Australia's assessed merit.
    • But, 417 applications (61 per cent of total approved) with a score below this cut off were approved for funding.
  • The ANAO made four recommendations:
     
    • Three are for Sport Australia relating to: the design of grant programs where a high level of demand is expected; the framework for managing conflicts of interest; and recording the reasons for assessment scores.
    • One recommendation is for the Australian Government to have a consistent framework in place applying to situations where a minister decides upon the award of grant funding.
  • Questions remain around several projects funded by Scott Morrison and Bridget McKenzie, including: 
     
  • On 30 March 2019, Scott Morrison and Bridget McKenzie said they would spend $150 million on female change rooms across Australia so women and girls wouldn’t have to “get changed behind towels on the side of fields or in cars". However, the PM’s real intent was soon revealed: 
     

Find a fault?

Over the past eight years of secrecy and document shredding, the Liberals have made it harder than ever to hold the Government to account on websites like this. If you think we’ve got something wrong or have missed something, please let us know.


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