The McCormacks flew to Melbourne on a VIP government jet before the 2019 Melbourne Cup, celebrated in the marquee of gambling giant Tabcorp, billed taxpayers for their return flights, and justified the trip by reannouncing a three-year-old funding pledge for a sports facility, according to Guardian Australia.
Michael McCormack said the trip to Melbourne was needed to make an announcement the day before the Melbourne Cup of $4 million in federal funding for a proposed indoor sports facility being built by Stonnington City Council in south-eastern Melbourne. Not only had that money already been announced by the former member for Higgins, Kelly O’Dwyer, three years earlier, but the project was – and still is – mired in legal proceedings in the Victorian supreme court that have prevented works from commencing.
Internal council correspondence, obtained by Guardian Australia, shows local councillors were shocked and dismayed when informed the week before the Melbourne Cup that McCormack and local Liberal MP Katie Allen were organising an event to “promote the federal government’s grant of $4m”.
The Australian has also reported that McCormack attended the Australian Hotels Association Melbourne Cup-eve lunch on the Monday.
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