Christian Porter to review sports grants program, despite receiving $1m from it

While it seems Christian Porter will lead the review into the sports grants scandal, Morrison is less interested in a potential conflict of interest.



Whenever it is that we look back on today’s Australia, the historians of tomorrow will struggle to decide which died first, satire or parliamentary transparency.

Earlier this morning, Scott Morrison appeared on breakfast television to defend the pre-election funds delivered primarily to the blue side of marginal seats, telling everybody that the rules have been followed and that everything is fine.

Clearly, if that is the case, then the system is hideously flawed. This suspicion was thrust into truth not too long ago, as the Morrison-announced review will be steered by the Federal Attorney General, Christian Porter.

The issue is that Porter received almost a million from the same program he will now be investigating. Porter clung onto his marginal electorate, Pearce, holding out by a narrow margin. Now, regional politics is a tricky beast, and I’m not going to say that he was able to keep his place exclusively through the funds from the program, but it certainly would have helped, and it should disqualify Porter from investigating, due to the obvious conflict of interest.

In the months leading up to the election, Porter triumphantly announced $926,865 in funding through the fêted program.

“There are some legal issues that were raised by the auditor general, which I’m moving quickly with the attorney-general to ensure that they’re clarified as soon as possible,” Mr Morrison said.

According to SBS News, “…the attorney general’s review will be limited to assessing whether the former sports minister had the legal authority to determine successful grant recipients.”

“The auditor-general made comments concerning the legal basis for ministerial involvement in the relevant process,” Mr Porter told SBS News.

“Given the lack of any conclusive view offered by the auditor-general, the prime minister has sought further consideration of the issue, which I am attending to.”

Porter’s electorate has a history of payments through the program. In December 2018, Porter dropped the following image to the press, articulating a $130,000 update to a bowling club, which fell under the first round of the program’s funding.


A media release announcing a $500,000 funding grant to Belhaven Park

A media release announcing a $500,000 funding grant to Belhaven Park


Per SBS, “In March 2019, Mr Porter announced $500,000 for upgrades to the Belhaven Park in Quinns Rock, under the second round of Community Sports Infrastructure program funding, and a month later, Mr Porter announced $296,865 to improve facilities for the North Coast Ball Club, under the third round of Community Sports Infrastructure program funding.”

Is everyone comfortable with this? The fox (or at least someone who knows a fox) is now investigating the chicken coop?



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