Morrison's blatant lies over sports rorts further evidence of a corrupt government

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended Bridget McKenzie despite evidence of political corruption (Screenshot via YouTube)

Our government has been mired in corruption and scandal, supported by the mainstream media and leaving us longing for an honest election, writes Grant Turner.

LOOKING BACK through Australian political history, I've tried to find a more blatant example of a Prime Minister knowingly looking down a camera lens and flat-out lying to the Australian people as Prime Minister Scott Morrison did when he said in relation to the sports rorts grants program that all projects funded were eligible and that his office had no input into which projects received grants.

Recently, a Senate Select Committee began looking into how these grants were administered. It found that 43 per cent of the 290 projects were, in fact, ineligible when the agreements were signed and that dozens of emails went between the PM's office and Senator Bridget McKenzie's office and indeed the PMO did have direct and indirect input into which projects received grants.

Since these revelations, the mainstream media and ABC have gone very quiet on this matter and not a single journalist has directly asked the PM why the Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO) account is in stark contrast to the PM's statement.

Morrison has sent out his cyborg Minister Mathias Cormann to double down on his statement:

“No project which was funded was assessed as ineligible at the time the assessment was made.”

But that was not what the PM said. Morrison said all projects funded were eligible and the word “assessed” was not mentioned. Some may think this is just playing games with words but the ANAO stated that when the agreements were signed, many projects had already started work, some projects had been finished, eight projects were accepted as late applications and had received grants after the assessment process had finished.

These actions deemed them ineligible under the guidelines for receiving government grants.

In simple words, Morrison lied.

It does raise the question, how did those that started their projects or finished them know they were getting their funds? Was it a nod and a wink by someone within the Government knowing that they would be ignoring Sports Australia recommendations?

Another huge rort that came to light out of the ANAO report was that there was blatant pork-barreling and that grants were not awarded on merit but awarded on a purely political basis, which is obvious when you see that marginal LNP and targeted ALP held seats received the bulk of the funding.

It turns out that the Community Sports Infrastructure Program (sports rorts) isn't the only example of blatant use of taxpayers’ money to pork-barrel marginal and targeted seats, there is the $150 million Female Facilities and Water Safety Stream (FFWSS) in which 40 per cent of that money went to just two seats — Corangamite and Pearce.

These are both very marginal seats and went in the form of swimming pools; there were no application or guidelines required for this program, it was basically the Government handing out money for swimming pools in marginal and targeted seats just prior to the last election. Very few female change rooms were built which was its stated purpose when announced in the 2018/19 Budget.

Then there is the Regional Growth Fund which is a $272 million program which went mostly to LNP marginal seats just prior to the last election, beautifully exposed here by Jommy Tee.

There are many more examples and more to come of this government using your money to buy votes and, sadly, elections.

Keeping in mind that the LNP only won their so-called “miracle” election by one seat, I fear that with the Government's blatant pork-barreling and their use of Cambridge Analytica type targeted campaigns of fake news, on top of a very compliant and at times complicit media, Australia will never again see honest elections with a properly informed public unless the corrupt actions of our current government are called out and the perpetrators suffer some consequences for their actions.

Independent media outlets are just about the only source of decent, honest information these days, information that is not driven by media oligarchs and their agendas. Let your friends and family know and get behind and support them.

Grant Turner has a strong interest in politics and fairness in society and believes in honest independent media. You can follow him on Twitter @gruntat.

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