A report by the auditor-general found while Senator McKenzie was sports minister she awarded most of the grants to seats being targeted by the coalition during the election last year.
Labor has called for McKenzie to resign and pointed to their former sports minister Ros Kelly who stepped down from the ministry and then parliament in 1995 following a similar affair.
But Senator McKenzie is refusing to apologise and has the support of the prime minister who said no rules were broken despite allegations of ‘pork barrelling’ – funding sports clubs in marginal seats rather than on merit.
“What I’m doing is taking the auditor-general’s report seriously and clarifying the legal issues that were raised,” Morrison told Nine’s Today show on Monday.
“Every project that was funded was eligible for funding. All the rules of the program were followed. The auditor-general found that – that’s different to what happened in the Ros Kelly affair.
“These projects were projects supporting local communities so girls didn’t have to get changed behind the shed or in their car to go play sport.
“It delivered funding supporting locally fund-raised initiatives in local communities, councils, to make local sports infrastructure better for communities.”
Leading law firm Slater and Gordon are investigating a class action, arguing tens of millions of dollars in grants were misappropriated.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.
We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.
InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.