Local News

Half of Sports Grants Handed Out - Ineligible

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An investigation sparked by the novelty cheque saga in the Federal seat of Mayo, shows almost half of all sports grants handed out in the program were not eligible.

The Australian National Audit Office has told a Senate Inquiry that 290 — or 43% — handed out by the Federal Governments to successful grant recipients were ineligible, either due to late submissions or changed circumstances.

The investigation follows an audit sparked last February when high-profile Liberal Mayo candidate Georgina Downer presented a novelty cheque to the Yankalilla Bowls Club (instead of it being presented by local Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie.

It was one of many grants that overwhelmingly went to marginal Coalition seats which has led to the resignation of former sports minister Bridget McKenzie. 

According to the ABC and The Guardian, ANAO presented evidence that:

  • both Morrison and McKenzie’s offices shared copies of that hilariously colour-coded spreadsheet, although final say was afforded to the then-sports minister;
  • Queensland’s LNP submitted their own wish-list of clubs in marginal seats; and
  • not even the Auditor-General has seen the allegedly dissenting Gaetjens report.

Photo of Georgina Downer handing cheque to Bowls Club - Georgina Downer Facebook