Conservative Party senate candidate for Western Australia Jonathan Crabtree has questioned the appropriateness of the Federal Government using a $1 billion “slush fund” to hand $3 million to a Perth soccer club after lobbying by a One Nation senator, amid frantic horsetrading over government legislation.
The Floreat Athena Football Club grant came from the Community Development Grants program, which has been attacked by Labor as a slush fund to prop up marginal seats and by the Auditor-General for a lack of accountability.
Announced by One Nation senator Peter Georgiou, it will be used to upgrade Litis Stadium (pictured).
Mr Crabtree said that “the Conservative Party supports introducing a publicly available, easily searchable database of spending across the whole of government, as a means of improving transparency and accountability of public spending.”
“Furthermore, we respect the division of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the States in order to improve the efficiency, decision-making and accountability of government, and to reduce the waste of taxpayers’ funds,” he said.
“Federal taxpayer money should not be used to buy votes before elections – a behaviour that has happened under both governments of red and blue persuasions in the past. While we welcome the declaration by the Labor party, who have
admitted that this type of behaviour is wrong, both major parties have used tactics like these to pork-barrel electorates in the past, and will likely do so again.”
Electing Conservative Party senators at the next federal election is the only way to keep whoever forms government accountable in spending taxpayers’ funds.
“If we can get a number of Conservative Party senators elected at the next federal election, we will seek to put a stop to this practice, and shift the government’s focus back to getting the budget back in the black, and also curtail further Federal Government meddling in State and Local Government issues," he concluded.
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