Thursday, 14 November 2019
Questions without Notice
Community Sport Infrastructure Grants Program
My question, unsurprisingly, is to the Minister for Sport, Senator Colbeck. This week, in response to my questions in the Senate regarding the Community Sport Infrastructure Grants Program, the minister stated:
… every project that was funded under this program was eligible for funding.
However, Sport Australia has made it very clear, in written evidence, that some of these grants were not recommended to Senator McKenzie. Does the minister not understand the difference or does he just not care?
I'm not sure who's got the comprehension problem here. I answered the question that I was asked by Senator Farrell. Every grant that was approved by Senator McKenzie under that program qualified under the guidelines of the program. That's what I said. Every single grant that was approved by Senator McKenzie under the program qualified under the guidelines of the program.
Yes, I do have a supplementary question. Can the minister confirm that, after being initially assessed by Sport Australia, no application under this program was sent back for reassessment at the request of Senator McKenzie or her ministerial office?
No, I can't confirm that. I'll have to take that on notice, Senator Farrell. But, as the delegate, the final responsibility for approval of each grant was Minister McKenzie's because she was the delegate under the guidelines of the program.
Yes, I do have one, Mr President. Has the current minister followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, Senator McKenzie, and personally hand-picked grant recipients, against the recommendation of his agency?
When I get recommendations from my department or my agency, I will do what every minister does: I will consider those recommendations and then I will make an appropriate decision based on the advice that I receive. That's what ministers do. That's the privilege that a minister has in being sworn in as a minister of the Crown. So, when I receive advice from my agency, I will consider that advice and I will note that advice, but, as a minister, I have the responsibility to make decisions.