Morrison government defends controversial carpark scheme set to be the target of Senate inquiry

The Morrison government has once again found itself defending a controversial commuter carpark scheme after the opposition used question time to grill the Treasurer over promises he made in his own electorate.

On Tuesday, the Senate agreed to establish a parliamentary inquiry into the Morrison government’s handling of the grant program used for selecting projects in the wake of a scathing auditor-general report.

The inquiry will examine the program and probe the role of the Prime Minister’s Office in determining which projects received funding.

In question time on Wednesday, opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers was eager to link Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to the scheme.

“Ten per cent of the total funds that he committed to commuter carparks at the last election were allocated to his own electorate,” Mr Chalmers said.

“After more than two years, how many of the four carparks the Treasurer promised have been built? How many have started construction and how many are no longer going ahead.”

Morrison government defends controversial carpark scheme set to be the target of Senate inquiry

Camera IconTreasurer Josh Frydenberg has defended the controversial scheme. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Frydenberg said while none of the promised carparks had been built in his electorate, the government remained committed to the scheme.

“With respect to the carparks in my own electorate, they haven’t been built as yet and we want them built,” he said.

“I can tell you we will deliver more infrastructure to my electorate than those opposite ever will. “

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week abruptly walked away from a press conference after being hounded by reporters over a list of 20 marginal seats that was compiled before allocating the winning grant bids.

The audit office report found none of the 47 projects selected for funding were put forward by the Department of Infrastructure. Twenty-seven of those projects were approved the day before Mr Morrison called the election.

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