Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

MP presents $1.5 million novelty cheque to sports club despite funds not being approved

MP presents $1.5 million novelty cheque to sports club despite funds not being approved
April 16, 2019

With politicians making numerous financial pledges to a range of arts, sport and tourism projects in the run up to the Federal election, a Liberal MP has presented a $1.5 million novelty cheque to a local sports club in his marginal seat of La Trobe despite funding not being approved.

Late last month, Liberal MP Jason Wood handed over a $1.5 million cheque to the Berwick Football and Netball Club in his marginal seat of La Trobe, snapping photos with happy children and staff and posting the news to Facebook, writing “Delivered $1.5m.”

However, as reported by the Guardian Australia and The Transparency Project, funds for the project have yet to go through due diligence and final approval.

Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack has subsequently written to the Club to congratulate them and confirm the funding commitment of “up to $1.5m” while warning the Club not to spend the money or begin any work.

The letter, obtained by Guardian Australia, said this was because the grant was contingent on “final due diligence” and final agreement.

Deputy Prime Minister McCormack wrote “whilst this letter confirms the commitment to your project, funding of $1.5 million is contingent upon the execution of a Deed of Agreement.

“I recommend that you do not enter into financial commitments or begin work on the project until such time a Deed of Agreement has been signed with the Australian government.”

McCormack also asked the Club to keep his letter confidential.

Wood holds the marginal Victorian seat of La Trobe, and faces a tough battle to keep it for the Liberals in next month’s federal election.

The money was to be given to the club through the Community Development Grants Program (CDGP), which aims to fund long term improvements to the social and economic viability of communities.

Political parties frequently  make funding commitments to local groups, and then later have them funded through grants programs such as the CDGP.

Money was committed using the CDGP in a similar fashion during the 2013 and 2016 election campaigns, and the auditor general last year largely found no problems with the way the program was run. The audit did, however, find that some projects that had been promised money in the lead-up to election were later found to be ineligible for the grant program.

A spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister said the funding for the Berwick Club was in the budget and ready to be spent. He said the process followed was no different to other commitments made by the CDGP.

The spokesperson advised “the Deputy Prime Minister’s letter confirmed the funding and outlined the Community Development Grants Program guidelines.

“Since this time, the relevant department has contacted the club and commenced the process of finalising a funding agreement with the club.”

However, there are concerns about the way Wood announced the money - using the cheque and claiming the funding had been “delivered” and “secured”, when it had not yet been approved.

Guardian Australia approached Wood for comment but did not respond.

Both Labor and the Liberals have come under scrutiny for handing over novelty cheques and taking credit for yet-to-be-awarded grants in the lead-up to the election campaign.

Liberal candidate for Mayo, Georgina Downer, drew criticism for handing a novelty cheque to Yankalilla Bowling Club in South Australia last month.

Related Articles

15th April 2019 - Latrobe Valley sport venues benefit from new LED lighting

9th April 2019 - Adelaide Zoo to keep pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni

6th April 2019 - NSOs welcome Federal budget funding boost

4th April 2019 - Sport Australia’s John Wylie welcomes Federal budget funding boost

3rd April 2019 - Federal budget includes $385 million to implement Sport 2030 plan

2nd April 2019 - Federal budget delivers pre-election funding commitments for arts, sport and tourism

11th February 2019 - Politicians pledge funds but are they serious about water safety?

8th February 2019 - NSW Premier accused of $25 million sport venue ‘blackmail’ in marginal electorate

28th September 2018 - Early 2019 construction start scheduled for Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre

24th August 2018 - TTF welcomes ‘one of our own’ as Australian Prime Minister

5th June 2016 - Leisure and the Federal election


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Neptune Benson

Neptune Benson is a manufacturer of high quality water filtration and disinfection products for the recreational, industrial, and municipal water markets. With more than 20,000 installations…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation

 
 

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 

NOVOFIT

NovoFit is an exciting and dynamic new company born from two of Australia’s leading commercial fitness equipment suppliers. NovoFit combines over 45 years of industry expertise, delivering state…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

RHINOPLAY

Rhinoplay offers playground equipment in Australia that is safe, durable, and most importantly fun! We specialise in creating unique indoor playgrounds for play centres and outdoor playgrounds for…

read more

Parks / Play / Surfaces

 
 

SGL GROUP

SGL is an innovative and progressive lifestyle, leisure and community consulting practice, operated by Phillip Gray and active since 1988. SGL has undertaken an extensive range of sport,…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport

 
 

LEISURE CONCEPTS AUSTRALIA

Leisure Concepts brings the world’s best fitness equipment brands to Australasia including Eleiko, Atlantis Strength and Merrithew Pilates. With a huge variety of  treadmills,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business