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Kate Palmer agrees to give evidence to sports grants inquiry

Kate Palmer agrees to give evidence to sports grants inquiry
February 21, 2020

Former Sport Australia Chief Executive Kate Palmer has reportedly agreed to appear at the Senate inquiry into the scandal-plagued Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program.

Palmer, who left Sport Australia at the end of January, is reported to be deeply disappointed at the way the program was administered prior to the last Federal election by the Office of then-Federal Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie.

However, while a Australian National Audit Office was scathing in now funding from the program was allocated, a subsequent investigation by Phil Gaetjens, Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, has reportedly found the scheme was fair - although Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to release Gaetjens’ assessment.

The previous hearing of the Senate committee featured Liberal senator Eric Abetz seeking to confirm that all recipients were eligible to receive funding, only to be told by a Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) official that they weren't.

With the next committee hearing scheduled for next Thursday (27th February), Palmer will be able to give her view about whether the awarding of grants was fair, or whether it was politically motivated.

However, when questioned last month in the wake of the Auditor-General’s damning report, while still employed at Sport Australia, as to whether she had expressed concerns on the way Senator McKenzie's office distributed the grants, Palmer stated "I’m not prepared to comment on that."

Senator Bridget McKenzie, who managed the scheme as Federal Sport Minister, resigned from the frontbench after being found to have breached ministerial standards by Gaetjens for failing to declare memberships to shooting clubs.

Image: Kate Palmer in 2018.

Related Articles

15th February 2020 - Report from Secretary to Prime Minister’s Department rejects Audit Office finding that sports grant program targeted marginal electorates

14th February 2020 - Australian Sports Commission issues statement in response to media claims on spending

14th February 2020 - Sport Australia slammed for extravagant spending on offices and consultants

5th February 2020 - Sport Australia confirm Robert Dalton as acting Chief Executive

4th February 2020 - Former Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie bypassed Sport Australia board to authorise $2.5 million grant to Netball Australia

4th February 2020 - Kate Palmer departs Chief Executive role at Sport Australia

2nd February 2020 - Sports rorts scandal sees National deputy leader Bridget McKenzie resign from Government

24th January 2020 - Executive who worked on Infrastructure Grant Program no longer at Sport Australia

23rd January 2020 - ‘Sports rorts’ scandal: Revelation that upmarket golf, rowing and tennis clubs received major grants

23rd January 2020 - ‘Sports rorts’ review to be assessed by Prime Minister’s department

16th January 2020 - Audit Office sports grants report cites ‘conflict of interest’ at Sport Australia

11th December 2019 - Kate Palmer apologises for ‘unauthorised access’ following Sport Australia email hack

28th October 2019 - Kate Palmer to step down from Sport Australia Chief Executive role

11th March 2019 - Sport Australia’s Kate Palmer announced as speaker for FILEX Women of Influence Forum

8th February 2019 - Sport Australia’s Kate Palmer says now is the time to stop talking about ‘women’s sport’

14th January 2019 - Sport Australia’s Kate Palmer says schools are critical to solving nation’s inactivity crisis

20th March 2018 - Sports Commission’s Kate Palmer welcomes best performance at a Winter Paralympic Games since 2002

13th December 2016 - Kate Palmer unveiled as new Australian Sports Commission Chief Executive


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