Sunday, 7 June 2020

And the bad news concerning Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government rorting just keeps coming

The New Daily, 1 June 2020:

I was wrong. The Community Development Grants program isn’t the Coalition’s hot $1.126 billion political rort – it’s the Coalition’s hot $2.5 billion-plus political rort.

It’s not 11 times bigger than #sportsrorts, it’s 25 times bigger and counting.

The government has a number of corrupt slush funds, but none more blatantly designed to buy votes with taxpayers’ money than the CDG scheme purpose built in 2014.

As reported last week, analysis of the government’s GrantConnect website showed Coalition seats “luckily” scored 75.5 per cent of last year’s CDG money, while Labor seats managed just 19.9 per cent.

Of the 68 federal seats Labor now holds, 22 have never received a cent in CDGs while those that did score well tend to be of particular political interest or history.

And the Coalition has quietly arranged to keep this particularly rich pork barrel rolling for another six years.

As Michael West Media has posed, why buy one election when you can buy three?

Billions of dollars in corrupt pork barrelling can seem a little abstract, so using Vince O’Grady’s spreadsheet analysis, I’ve chosen an example of a frontline seat and those that adjoin it to demonstrate how much an Australian Electoral Commission boundary costs or benefits communities.

The Labor-held seat of Hunter in regional New South Wales abuts three National seats to its west and north.

It is a particularly rich green line that separates Hunter from the Nationals’ Calare, Lyne and New England.

Since the Coalition invented CDGs in 2014 through to and including the 2019 election year, only $108,000 in CDGs show up on the GrantConnect site for the good folk of Hunter.
Source: AEC map; TND graphic

..CDGs are not supposed to be purely regional grants – some of the biggest winners are rich Liberal-held city seats – but it is the National Party that has done by far the best out of the way this barrel has rolled.

In 2019, the 68 Labor seats averaged $836,000 in CDGs, Liberal seats $2.086 million, LNP seats in Queensland $2.473 million – and the 10 National Party seats scored an average of $6.712 million.

That contrast is stark on the ground……

As previously reported, the CDG process was designed by the newly elected Abbott government to avoid any embarrassing involvement of public servants in divvying up the spoils, as subsequently happened with the McKenzie/Morrison #sportsrorts scandal, and the $100 million environment grants program that was also conveniently established before the 2019 election.

Read full article here.

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