NEWCASTLE ORGS URGED TO CONTRIBUTE TO SPORTS RORTS INQUIRY

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Local community sporting organisations that missed out on grant funding under the program at the centre of the Sports Rorts scandal have been encouraged to make a submission to a new Parliamentary inquiry.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said Labor had successfully launched a Select committee to scrutinise the Community Sports Infrastructure Grant program after an independent report found it had been used by the Morrison Government as a pork-barrelling exercise.

“An independent report of the Auditor General’s report exposed the Morrison Government’s industrial-scale political pork-barrelling, but many questions still remain,” Ms Claydon said.

“Clubs and organisations that applied for these grants did absolutely nothing wrong. They applied in good faith for what should have been a competitive, merit-assessed grants program only to be bypassed for projects in seats the Government was trying to win in the election.”

Ms Claydon said she wanted to see any local organisation that missed out on funding stand up and make their voices heard.

“It makes me absolutely furious to think that worthy Newcastle sporting infrastructure went unfunded so the Morrison Government could use public money to prop up its own re-election campaign,” Ms Claydon said.

“I urge organisations that were unsuccessful to put in a submission to the inquiry, sharing their experience of the administration of the program as well as the impact on our community.”

Ms Claydon said the inquiry would look thoroughly into the delivery and decision-making processes in the program.  

“The Select Committee on Administration of Sports Grants will put the program guidelines, the assessment process, and the requirements placed on applicants under the microscope,” Ms Claydon said.

“It will also look at the role of senior Government offices, including that of the Prime Minister’s own office, in hand picking winners in marginal seats.”

The Committee, is scheduled to report in late March 2020 with submissions closing on 21 February.  More information on the inquiry, including how to make submissions, is available at www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Administration_of_Sports_Grants

Ms Claydon urged anyone with information about the running of the program should send a submission to the inquiry with a copy to Sharon.Claydon.MP@aph.gov.au.

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle