DUTTON REFUSES TO DEFEND SAFER COMMUNITIES FUND RORTS
February 15, 2021
In its latest attempt to avoid being accountable to the Australian public, the Morrison Government has shut down Labor’s attempts to debate Peter Dutton’s rorting of the Safer Communities Fund.
As reported last week, the Home Affairs Minister is the latest Coalition Minister to have been caught ignoring the advice of the Government’s own experts and directing taxpayers' money into projects in marginal and Government-held electorates prior to the 2019 election.
Today Labor attempted to suspend standing orders to discuss this important matter but the Government quickly gagged the debate.
Questions need to be answered regarding Mr Dutton’s decisions to:
- Reject the advice from his own community safety experts and reduce funding for 19 safety projects;
- Direct taxpayers' money into 53 cherry-picked projects ahead of other safety projects his experts said would do more to protect community safety;
- Make sure two projects in his own electorate were funded even though his own experts did not recommend them;
- Announce funding for two projects in the marginal Tasmanian electorate of Braddon in the lead-up to a by-election in the seat with the then Liberal candidate, despite the grant guidelines not being written and without expert advice from his own Department;
- Go ahead and fund the two Braddon projects even after his own community safety experts advised him the projects were “unsuitable and ineligible” and did not represent value for money;
- And use over $36,000 of taxpayer money to fly to Braddon in a RAAF jet to stand next to the Liberal candidate when he announced the grants. That’s almost 20 per cent of the value of the grants for the two Braddon projects.
This is a Government that has form spending taxpayers’ money as Liberal Party money and it has form doing everything it can to avoid being held accountable for its actions.
Scott Morrison hates scrutiny, he hates accountability and he hates taking responsibility.
Australians deserve a Prime Minister and a Government with integrity who are willing to front up and answer questions about their wrongdoings.