November 2018 – ongoing
Michael West Media revealed more than a year ago the pork barrelling of the commuter car park fund, as confirmed by the national auditor general. Projects worth $660 million were handpicked by the government on advice of its MPs and candidates.
Part of the $4.8 billion federal Urban Congestion Fund program was used at the government’s discretion to fund projects mainly in Liberal-held or marginal seats at the 2019 election.
The federal government shut down a plan to award the money on merit.
Not one of the 47 commuter car park sites promised by the Coalition at the 2019 election was selected by the Infrastructure Department.
The department – which at the time was reporting to minister Paul Fletcher and then Alan Tudge in the lead-up to the election – decided there would be no formal call for submissions and projects would be identified and selected by the government.
Of the 23 federal seats selected for the projects, 15 were held by the Coalition and eight by Labor.
The funding was overwhelmingly allocated to Victoria – 38 per cent – followed by NSW, which received 16 per cent. The most successful electorates were Goldstein (six projects), Deakin (five projects), Kooyong (four projects) and Banks (four projects), all Coalition-held. Labor’s seat of Lindsay, a key marginal won by the Coalition, received three projects.
Gambling lobby’s punt with $20k donation to Kevin Andrews
Liberal MP Kevin Andrews received a $20,000 donation from Clubs NSW, Australia's most powerful gambling lobby, as he led the formulation of the Coalition's poker machines policy before the 2013 election.
Minister’s role a link in grant to ineligible business
The office of former regional development minister the LNP's John McVeigh asked the Infrastructure Department to reconsider an ineligible Queensland abattoir for a regional jobs grant.
Tony Abbott fails to declare daughter’s scholarship connected to donor
Frances Abbott received a scholarship for a $60,000 degree from the Whitehouse Institute of Design. Its chairman, who recommended Frances for the scholarship, has donated more than $20,000 to the Liberal party.
Coalition’s $444m for Barrier Reef foundation did not follow rules
The Coalition awarded a $444 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation without a tender process, the “due diligence” was based on information provided for another purpose, and the foundation had to submit a retrospective application after it had been awarded the money.
Andrew Robb’s $880k China consultancy started day before 2016 election
Former trade minister and Liberal MP Andrew Robb accepted an $880,000-a-year salary with Chinese billionaire Ye Cheng’s Landbridge Group upon quitting parliament. He resigned shortly before the deadline for overseas state interests to sign up to Australia’s new foreign influence register.
The Prime Minister and the big blue bus (he didn’t use)
Scott Morrison visited Queensland on a four-day tour of marginal seats, but the PM wasn’t actually riding on the bus.