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Here Comes the next round of Morrison rorts

Scott Morrison is all about himself, and doesn’t really care about you. That’s why so many local worthy Australian communities missed out through Scott Morrison’s sports rorts and carpark rorts scandals. And now comes the latest round of Morrison rorts and pork barrelling after figures released this week revealed that Liberal electorates received three times the amount of taxpayer money than Labor-held seats.

17 December 2021

ALAN HAYES

 

WHAT kind of Prime Minister decides to hand out more than $100 million in taxpayer money to benefit Liberal electorates rather than the communities that deserved it?

 

Morrison's rorting and pork barrelling is widespread and is right across the country. It is systematic of a government that is rotten to the core with its industrial scale rorting and a Prime Minister who considers that taxpayer's money to be his own money, to be used to buy votes and tries to keep it secret from the people.

 

Morrison's rorting is a corruption of our democracy. His government has taken money away from communities that needed it the most and is giving it to seats to secure and win an election campaign.

 

The guidelines for grants were clear but the Morrison Government chose to ignore them. Instead, 'Morrison the Rorter' took out his highlighter pen and favoured the distribution of grant money where it would benefit him the most.

 

The facts are clear:  Morrison's own seat of Cook - not affected by drought and on the coast - received $8.2 million of the drought relief grant. That $8.2 million is more than four Western Sydney Labor seats - Fowler, McMahon, Chifley and Greenway - combined received from any grant money. Anthony Albanese's seat - Grayndler, again in Sydney - was given $750,0000, while the neighbouring Liberal held marginal seat, literally next door in Reid, received $14.8 million.

 

When Scott Morrison was asked about his Government's rorting this week he bragged about it, yet still denies that he is rorting!

 

Scott Morrison may be bragging but his hubris is only disgraceful confirmation that his government has done more pork barrelling and rorting than any other government in the history of the nation, buying votes on a scale unseen before.

 

Yet despite the Morrison hubris and the bragging, why were so many of the decisions for allocation of grants made in secrecy and made against departmental advice? And why the colour coded spreadsheets and dodgy decisions  that have been revealed to favour grant monies going to Liberal-held seats?

 

And, on top of the sports rorts program, where almost all of the grants went to marginal seats the Government wanted to hold or win, and car park rorts that the Grapevine has previously reported on, Scotty ‘Never-Tell-a-Lie's' rorting also extends to regional programs, roads and pool rorts.

 

An Analysis of the $3 billion Urban Congestion Fund suggests 83 per cent of funds have gone to Coalition and marginal seats.

 

The North Sydney Olympic Pool received $10 million from the so-called Female Facilities and Water Safety Stream. The $150 million fund was meant to go to regional projects, not to be used on pet Liberal projects.

 

Regional areas, such as the Central Coast, severely missed out from the Safer Communities Program. The Government used the money from the proceeds of crime - literally blood money - and pumped it into Liberal held marginal seats, especially projects that weren’t even eligible for funding.

 

Closer to home Member for Shortland Pat Conroy said, "To give you an example, I’ve got the beautiful community of Windale in my electorate, which is a great community with great community spirit, but it is the most disadvantaged community in all of New South Wales."

 

"I’ve got San Remo and the Northlakes area of the Central Coast, which is up there in terms of economic disadvantage as well. So for our community to have the least amount of funding of any of the six Hunter seats is absolutely unacceptable. It’s abhorrent, and what we need is for grants to go to communities and projects based on need and economic disadvantage, not because the MP happens to be the Deputy Prime Minister," Pat Conroy said.

 

But it doesn’t get any better - the Auditor-General in November blasted mismanagement of the $220 million Regional Jobs and Investment Packages. No records were kept as ministers overturned departmental advice, including on a $5 million grant to a meat processing business linked to a Coalition donor. About 17 per cent of the spending went to projects not recommended by bureaucrats.

 

When it comes to Scotty ‘Never-Tell-a-Lie’ it’s just another day and another rort's scandal. Scott Morrison is not interested in what the community want or need, he’s only in it for himself.

 

And when Barnaby Joyce’s ministers also get their hands on a pork barrel, it’s no holds barred. This was evident when, even COVID quarantined in the United States, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby aka 'Natman' couldn’t stop from firing the starting gun on Monday (13 December) on the next round of Morrison-Joyce Government rorts, this time with round six of the Building Better Regions Fund.

 

This round of funding tops up Scott Morrison’s re-election piggy bank to the tune of $250 million.

 

The Building Better Regions Fund is the centrepiece of Scott Morrison’s pork barrelling program, with 90 per cent of the previous five rounds worth $1.15 billion being funnelled into Coalition-held or target seats.

 

With the addition of a quarter of a billion dollars in Building Better Regions funding, just months out from the next election, the question that needs to be asked is how much of this taxpayer-funded program will be used like Liberal-National Party money to secure votes in the upcoming election campaign?

 

Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce says he ‘doesn’t care’ that this fund has been revealed to be an election war chest for the Liberal-National Government.

 

This week’s announcement is confirmation that there’s another $250 million of hard-earned taxpayer dollars sitting ready for Scott Morrison to rort all the way to the next election.

 

And there is no doubt that Scotty ’Never-Tell-a-Lie’ will do what he has previously done - ignore investments in a range of worthy communities around the country just because they didn’t vote for him at the last election or don’t have a vote he wants to win at the next one.

 

Clearly, Scotty 'Never-Tell-a-Lie' doesn't give you anything unless he thinks you're going to give him something back in return. That is why we need a national anti-corruption commission to hold Federal politicians accountable for their actions and to stamp out any corrupt behaviour. But when you look at the behaviour of the current government, the rorting and misuse of taxpayer's funds, it's little wonder that it has been more than 1000 days since Scott Morrison promised that there would be a national integrity commission and has failed to deliver it. Scotty 'Never-Tell-a-Lie' doesn't want Australians to know what he’s up to.

 

And why doesn't Scott Morrison want Australians to know what he is up to? We've got Morrison and Frydenberg presiding over $100 billion of deficits, a trillion dollars of debt, a budget riddled with waste and rorts, and Morrison's refusal to bring forward an anti-corruption commission.

 

And let's not forget that it was two years ago yesterday that Scott Morrison jetted off to Hawaii while the country burned and communities were turned to ash. It's a poignant and unforgettable reminder that when the country needed their leader the most, to step up, to take responsibility, and to take control and to help people, he just got on a plane and headed out of the country. It will be a bittersweet memory for many people as they remember the trauma, the sky that looked like the fires of Hades, the choking smoke and the sadness of loss of property and human life. A bittersweet memory of a Prime Minister who refused to cut his Hawaiian holiday short because, as Scotty put it, he didn't "hold a hose" just reinforced his non-caring attitude. Morrison thought he could just skip the country rather than being there to take control.

 

Many people will still remember that in the months leading up to those bushfires there were the ex-fire chiefs who were desperately trying to meet with the Prime Minister to warn him about what was coming and pleading for more funding for water bombing aircraft. And the nation will not forget a Prime Minister who refused to even meet with them.

 

Everyone knew the kind of situation that the nation was facing. The bushfire warnings were very strong and had been consistent for months. Instead, of stepping up to the 'plate', Scott Morrison chose to let the nation down - no doubt sipping on a Blue Hawaiian cocktail and crooning like Elvis.

 

And when Morrison did finally come back to Australia, people will not forget that it was not long before the all familiar strategy - to blame someone else, blame the State Governments, blame anyone other than himself.

 

History will certainly record Scott Morrison's Prime Ministership as being characterised by his propensity to be loose with the truth and a divisive figure who never missed an opportunity to divide the nation. A Prime Minister that was never there when you needed him. A Prime Minister who made all sorts of commitments that he hasn't kept and who promised all sorts of things that he hasn't delivered. A Prime Minister who was always there to take credit but was never there to take responsibility. And now Scott Morrison is prepared to escalate rorting to the nth degree, and let down Australians yet again, just to get re-elected.

 

Scott Morrison is not a leader, he is just like a bad case of haemorrhoids - a burning pain that won't go away.

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