Gold Coast MP John-Paul Langbroek claims ‘pork barrelling’ over sports rort accusations

30 Sep 2020 1:35 PMJohn-Paul Langbroek

An independent report has revealed Gold Coast sports clubs received less than a quarter the taxpayer funded grants of Brisbane and Logan as a city MP accuses Labor of “pork barrelling”.

Article by Brianna Morris-Grant, Gold Coast Bulletin 

 

GOLD Coast sports clubs received just $8 million in taxpayer funded grants as Brisbane and Ipswich got upwards of $44 million, an independent report has revealed.

The Auditor-General report released on Tuesday morning found Sports Minister Mick de Brenni had personally intervened in the awarding of 33 grants and scrapped grants recommended for 14 Queensland clubs.

The report also reveals Ipswich and Logan received a combined total of $47.2 million between 2017 and 2020, while Brisbane received $44.9 million.

Gold Coast clubs received just $8.4 million in the same time period.

Following the report Surfers Paradise MP and Shadow Sports Minister John-Paul Langbroek accused Mr de Brenni of “blatant political pork barrelling”.

Mr Langbroek has called for a full list of the 33 grant recipients – and the 14 vetoed organisations – to be released.

“(The report found) the change in recommended grants resulted in grants awarded to ALP electorates increasing from 44 to 68 per cent,” he said.

“(Meanwhile) LNP electorates’ share of awarded grants decreased from 43 to 29 per cent.

“I know as a parent who has worked in these clubs how hard people work to apply for these grants.

“Today I’m calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk to release the names of these 14 clubs that were recommended, (then) Minister de Brenni overruled them and gave the money to 18 other groups.”

The report confirmed Mr de Brenni’s intervention had increased the numbers of grants for Labor electorates and decreased those in LNP-held areas.

Mr de Brenni has since defended his actions and said he had fixed “errors” made by his department to “make it fairer”.

“I didn’t think the department’s investment logic was sound and I wanted to ensure that more clubs had more opportunities,” he said.

“Particularly those clubs that don’t have big sources of revenue from pokies.”

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