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But, that’s the way we always do it in the National Party!

Quoting then Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie after the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) looked into her pork-barrelling of sports grants : “what’s the point of having a grants program if you can’t give handouts where they will have the greatest political return, helloo !”

You may recall that this whole thing blew up when a Liberal Party candidate in the Independently held seat of Mayo presented a bowls club with a large cheque courtesy the coalition. Very odd you may say, as this candidate wasn’t the elected member and had no authority to be handing out largesse on behalf of the coalition.

Labor reported this to the ANAO to look into. This from their report :

4.   The decision to undertake the audit followed a request from the Shadow Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, for an audit into the circumstances surrounding the Liberal candidate for Mayo’s presentation of a cheque to the Yankalilla Bowling Club for a project that received $127,373 in funding under the second round. The key rationale for undertaking an audit was that Sport Australia (as a corporate Commonwealth entity) is not subject to the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines (CGRGs) when administering its grant programs.

The then Sports Minister, Bridget McKenzie said at the time there was nothing to see here and that she had absolute discretion over how coalition pork-barreling was administered ; the ANAO would beg to differ – again from their report :

24.   There was evidence of distribution bias in the award of grant funding. Overall statistics indicate that the award of funding was consistent with the population of eligible applications received by state/territory, but was not consistent with the assessed merit of applications. The award of funding reflected the approach documented by the Minister’s Office of focusing 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. Applications from projects located in those electorates were more successful in being awarded funding than if funding was allocated on the basis of merit assessed against the published program guidelines.

McKenzie is now Agriculture Minister and Deputy Leader of the National Party and her comments today fall into the categories of ;

  • that’s the way we always do things in the coalition. Otherwise how would we win ?
  • My career is going quite nicely, thank you. So please don’t rock the boat.
  • We should sack the National Office of Audit as they are clearly all Lefties
  • You all need to take a cold shower because we won the election : so there !
  • Are you from the ABC ?

So far, the Prime Minister hasn’t commented but in true Westminster fashion it is fully expected that he will sack McKenzie before the week is out … or perhaps not.

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18 comments

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  1. Andy56

    what? westminster system protocols? Yea, nah, we are the LNP and we make the rules.

  2. Andrew Smith

    One used to think that several CEE and other Balkan nations were replicating a ’70-80’s Joh QLD style politics, govt. and democracy.

    Swings and roundabouts nowadays….

  3. Kerri

    The fact that this bimbo holds the deputy position is testimony to the lack of talent in the Nats.
    Her lack of talent is only exceeded by the presiding himbo who is senior to her.

  4. Phil Pryor

    Friday night at the bush pub and the boys are lining up a last chance at a galapagos duck; yet the dep of the country party, Bridget Roughnut, the well known liar, thief and eternal bag (three bags) is left on the shelf, or around the walls of the old hall; OH, shit. Could it be that she is well known for being totally unfair, untrustworthy, dishonest, devious, desperate and daintily dickheaded? Yes?

  5. Matters Not

    Lots of reasons why politicians win – or at east don’t lose – at election time. Often it’s in close combination. Take Dutton as an example. Locally, and on the positive side – he’s very successful in delivering the pork. And reminding people.

    Then there’s virtually every National, and at all levels of government. Seriously, while Labor and Liberals are sometimes motivated by principles in their deliberations, no such considerations ever hamper a National Party politician. They only speak to people – never to principle(s). One reason they consistently over-achieve. (There’s valid political lessons there to be learned – unfortunately. Just ask Morrison.)

  6. paul walter

    The refusal of the PM once again to sack a corrupt minister is only matched by yet another display of unremitting arrogance from the minister caught out, for sheer gall.

  7. New England Cocky

    Lovely header pic comment on present day Australian COALition politics. Bandit Mc Kenzie, Minister for unmerited Sports Funding Handouts to buy votes in marginal electorates, and Barnyard Joke, Adulterer-in-Chief, Alcoholic, Bigot, MIsogynist and all round exploiter of the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme, of the Nat$ you have when Australian voters can go to hell, led by the absent in mind and often body Mick Muck, sometime representative of the nat$ in SW NSW.

    This story reminds me of the 2004 Federal election when the nat$ Federal Minister for Roads withheld $2.4 BILLION of regional road funding as vote bait so that regional voters would vote for the nat$ ….. then failed to deliver in any regional electorate that voted for nat$!

    The MInister’s electorate was abolished later and the fresh electorate became one of the largest in Australia because skilled tradespersons departed the towns due to lack of financial support for small businesses in urban regional centres during the then drought causing mass migration to urban regional centres where there were more job opportunities resulting in the closure of too many businesses that did NOT return after the rains.

    One town lost about 35 businesses. Now multiply that out to see the economic effect. Conservatively, 35 businesses x 4 Persons (2 Adults + 2 Kids) = 140 persons without income, 70 kids out of school so 3.5 teachers lost from school, and so it goes on.

    But some of the businesses had multiple employees, so the impact was much greater. So say,
    1) 15 (Mum + Dad + 2 kids), 10 (M + D + 2 Employees + 3 x 2 Kids), 10 (M+D + 4 E + 5 x 2 Kids)

    2) 15 x (2 Adults + 2 Kids) + 10 (3 Adults + 3x 2Kids) + 10 (6 Adults + 5 x 2 Kids)

    3) (30 Adults + 30 kids) + (30 Adults + 60 kids) + (60 Adults + 100 Kids)

    4) (30 + 30 + 60 = 120 Adults) + (30 + 60 +100 Kids)

    5) 120 Adults + 190 kids.

    Allowing for NO local job opportunities this puts a further about 10 school teachers at risk of transfer out of the district with their encumberant kids as well. Similarly for all other government services that may exist in the town.

    National$ the party you have when you want nothing to change. Creating land clearances for the benefit of foreign owned multinational mining corporations to exploit Australian natural resources with tiny if any benefits for Australian voters.

  8. whatever

    All this “Sportsground” funding was not really about sport.

    It was a bizzarre kind of response to the Gay Marriage referendum, …..the LNP was handing out money for things that stupid people thought would “stop my kids turning out to be gay!!!”

    I am not joking, this indeed was the strategy.

  9. Kathryn

    Can you just IMAGINE what these grotesque, criminally corrupt, self-serving miscreants in the LNP would have to say if it was the ALP or the Greens who misused, abused and misappropriated hard-earned taxpayer funds in such shocking acts of blatant nepotism and politically-biased “vote purchasing”? …. Answer: These hysterical, unspeakably hypocritical, mediocre, red-neck grubs would be SCREEEEAMING from the top of their bible-thumping pulpits! What is even MORE shocking is that these dumbed-down, soulless, intellectual midgets don’t even KNOW, realise or understand that they have broken the law, that they have wilfully abused the trust of Australians, treated us with their ongoing smug, condescending contempt that seems to grow with each passing day!

    The LNP are beyond evil; their insufferable arrogance, their born-to-rule belief that they are ABOVE ALL THE LAWS they expect – indeed DEMAND – of the ALP, the Greens and the rest of us “lowly peasants” eeking out a living on stagnated wages whilst these rampaging, wasteful grubs throw OUR taxpayer funds around with reckless abandon, granting themselves three outrageous pay rises whilst Australians starve on Newstart; Countless millions of UNAUDITED dollars hurled at LNP “preferred” pet projects for political expediency; Countless MILLIONS (more than $35 Million) of mismanaged, UNAUDITED funds used to keep a small Tamil family of four illegally locked-up indefinitely in an off-shore concentration camp; Millions more taxpayer funds used to aid the construction of more than 30 dams for the sole and PRIVATE USE of foreign corporate predators who are being handed EVERYTHING we value = all our resources, vast areas of land and the most precious, rare resource we have in this, the driest continent on earth in the midst of the worst drought and fires in our history = WATER!

    The ongoing theft and privatisation of everything taxpayers own; the never-ending abuse, fraudulent misuse and criminal rorting of taxpayer funds by the bloated LNP Pigs-at-the-Trough is now INCREASING at a rapid rate! Why? Because these soulless bastards – in the worst government in 40,000 years of Australian inhabitation – now finally realise that MorriScum is so on-the-nose he may be the cause of their free-for-all unconscionable and breathtaking abuse of taxpayer funds coming to an abrupt end at the next federal election! The entitled elitist and self-serving grubs are now running scared, now DETERMINED to double their efforts in a last ditch effort to grab as much as they can get from the dwindling Trough as they can muster!

    The LNP rose to power on a platform of broken promises, pushed across the electoral line by idiots who believed all the LNP’s character-assassinating lies helped along by the LNP’s repugnant propaganda minister, Murdoch, the disgusting preferential voting system via shrieking xenophobic independent lunatics (such as Pauline Hanson et al) and the unelected swill in the IPA. The LNP scraped into power on the back of non-stop fraudulent crap pushed out by the amoral Clive Palmer about franking credits (that was PROVEN to be totally false)! Because of their deceptive, undeserved win, the LNP (wrongly) presumed that that gave them the right, indeed the holier-than-thou privilege, to do what they bloody well like with OUR money; gave them the right to place themselves ABOVE the laws that govern the rest of us; gave them the supreme power to be judge and jury over themselves and their astounding level of criminal corruption, self-serving greed and uncontrolled rorting and waste of taxpayer funds; gave them the right to try and tear down the very fabric of our democracy, to weaponise our police force to use against us, to prosecute whistle-blowers, arrest peaceful protest marchers, harass citizens (even little children) who have the courage to condemn and stand up against their brutal regime of destruction, environmental vandalism and perverted fascism! IT DID NOT AND NEVER DID!

    Will the ever-decreasing number of rusted-on, gormlessly stupid Lieberal sycophants take notice of the increasing level of LNP criminal recklessness, ongoing waste and unparalleled arrogance, and WAKE UP to the fact that they have played a huge part in electing the worst, most traitorous and entitled pack of fascist hypocrites in living memory? Tragically, probably not! That’s why it is SO IMPORTANT, so desperately imperative, that the rest of us ensure that the DAILY REVELATIONS of LNP corruption, callous inhumanity and ineptitude ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN! We need to keep reminding the rusted-on fools – and the outrageously biased Murdoch press – that we will not stand for such a morally bankrupt, catastrophically dangerous, wasteful and criminally corrupt pack of supercilious, climate-change-denying f*wits to rule our nation with such impudence, such callous disregard and cold indifference to everything our (once) egalitarian nation cherishes: truth, integrity, credibility, respect, generosity and a sense of justice and fair play! The cold fact is that the LNP do NOT have an ounce of any of these traits and never did!

  10. Harry Lime

    We shouldn’t be too harsh on the poor girl, she’s only doing what Skiddy would do.He sets the standard by being an exemplary,lying hypocrite who must win at any cost.LNP 101.Not going to change until they are bulldozed into the garbage dump of history.

  11. Max Gross

    Professional parasites. Pure LNP.

  12. Terence Mills

    In their haste to keep Abbott’s seat, McKenzie allocated a grant of $500,000 to the Mosman Rowing Club in Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah. It doesn’t seem that this was recommended by Sport Australia (anybody know the facts ?)

    Sport Australia made the recommendations for grants totalling $100million based on merit. These recommendations then went to the minister’s office where her staffers had run a parallel listing of the minister’s preferences.
    There were three rounds of allocations. In the first round, 91 of the projects (41%) approved were not endorsed by the Sport Australia board. In the second round, 162 (70%) of the approved projects were not recommended by Sport Australia, and in the final round 167 (73%) of the approved projects were not recommended.

    Bridget McKenzie says that she had a discretion but the Audit Office disputes that. She also says that what she did was not illegal.

    It should have been illegal to use public money for political pork barrelling and we must demand that she go and that this government move quickly to set up a crime and misconduct commission.

    To allow McKenzie to thumb her nose at the Australian people and get away with this is completely unacceptable.

  13. Harry Lime

    Yes

    Yes,McKenzie must go and be replaced by someone whom the public can trust, like ,oh Micky Mouth,or Black Angus or maybe Barnyard ,or even the Liar,after all no one knows better how to handle other people’s money than our Scotty.If you want to get ahead in the LNP, you have to park integrity,honesty and the public interest at the door.

  14. TuffGuy

    yeah, sure, scummo will sack her alright, just like he sacked the last corrupt LNP member back in….., er, well I can’t remember but I am sure he has sacked a few hasn’t he?

  15. Matters Not

    Rowing is such a good focus for political pork because it invariably hits the right (upper) class target. While Abbott received $500,000 for the Mosman Rowing Club, Dutton was only able to milk $200 000 for a boat shed at the Pine Rivers Rowing Club. As Bridget (always on location) was prone to say:

    “We understand that our success and prowess as a sporting nation begins with grassroots sports which is why we have focused our investment in local sporting facilities,”

    https://twitter.com/hontonyabbott/status/1120940885733101570?lang=en
    https://www.peterdutton.com.au/funding-boost-for-pine-rivers-rowing-club/

    There is some dispute re the origins of the practice but this one might be of interest.

    Another possible origin for the phrase “pork barrel” comes from practices prior to the Civil War, in which slave owners would watch their slaves fight each other over a barrel of salted pork given as a reward for services.

    While Morrison generated headlines with a ‘lump of coal’, perhaps Labor could consider an oink or two at the appropriate time?

    PS Morrison can’t sack Bridget because she’s in the Ministry and Cabinet at the courtesy of the Nationals – not the Liberals. And Labor knows that. Just sh@t stirring.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of Mosman rowing club, they were knocked back for a funding grant from the Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund

    In their 2018 report they said “It may be that we could never qualify simply because we cannot promise sufficient increase in participation numbers compared to, say, Manly SLSC.”

    But luckily, the Feds have no such qualms.

    “On a more positive note, we applied for two grants under separate Federal government schemes, and thanks to Guy Morgan’s stewardship, we have received a $20,000 grant for upgrading the kitchen and changing rooms in the old shed. Thanks, Guy!
    We also were successful in our $19,900 grant application to put a new, removeable rubber floor in the weights area of
    the gym.”

    They also received $64,840 from rowing Australia.

    In 2018, “Overall MRC income increased by $24,919 from $489,316 to $514,235.”

    “Bank account balances have increased from $127,537 to $216,959 and the club has retained shares to the value of $59,880.”

    And this was before the gift from Bridget.

    Having volunteered and fundraised a lot over the years in community sport, those figures make my eyes water.

  17. David Evans

    If only there was a real leader in Australia.

  18. Matters Not

    David Evans re:

    If only there was a real leader in Australia

    Be careful what you wish for. Look around the world and see the Nations that have real leaders. Here’s a sample. America has Trump. Russia has Putin. Turkey has Erdogan. North Korea has Kim Jong-un. Belarus has Lukashenko. China has Xi Jinping. Great Britain has Johnson and Australia now has Morrison who followed Turnbull and Abbott. All designated, recognised leaders. And all of them – pretty much all about themselves. All tending towards dictatorship. Effectively one person rule in varying degrees.

    Look further:

    As of today, there are 50 dictatorships in the world (19 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 12 in the Middle East and North Africa, 8 in Asia-Pacific, 7 in Eurasia, 3 in Americas and 1 in Europe

    Seems to me the last thing we need is another Leader – real or otherwise – because it’s all too risky. No – what we need is leadership – and in abundance – which tends to come from a number of sources and is more often than not shared across the many not the few at any moment in time. It’s leadership that characterises good government in a democracy – not leaders. Conceptually they are miles apart.
    https://planetrulers.com/current-dictators/

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