By Evelyn Leckie
Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell is urging sporting clubs across the electorate who applied for Community Sport Infrastructure Grants Program to contact him, following a damning report which revealed funding bias towards sporting clubs in marginal electorates.
An auditor-general’s report found evidence of distribution bias by then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie and raised the prospect the whole scheme was illegal.
The report found 73 per cent of the approved projects had not been recommended by government agency Sports Australia, and were given to sports clubs situated in electorates the Coalition wanted to win over.
“Mr Morrison owes an apology to the hundreds of sporting groups who applied for grants in good faith, only to find out that they were never even in with a shot because they weren’t on Mr Morrison’s secret list of target seats,” Mr Mitchell said.
“Here in McEwen, we have so many worthy community projects which are shovel-ready and crying out for federal funding, but would never make the cut under former-Minister McKenzie’s sham of a process.
“Our sporting clubs deserve better from their government, and they deserve answers.”
Ms McKenzie told ABC RN Breakfast that she wouldn’t apologise for the distributions, and insisted she followed the rules.
The now-agricultural minister maintained that all clubs who received funding were eligible for the money.
But Mr Mitchell didn’t agree, saying Australians expected a fair and level playing field – in both sport and their government.
“If you are a local sporting organisation that applied for funding and missed out, please reach out to my office on 5716 3000,” he said.