Questions over Liberals' use of Premier's Discretionary Grants fund prior to Tasmanian state election

© Provided by ABC NEWS Several Liberal MPs accessed a community grants fund in the period before the state election was called.  (ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Tasmanian Liberal Party MPs ramped up their use of a little-known community grants fund in the three months before the last state election was called, with spending between January and March more than double the same period last year, new figures show. 

The spending has prompted the opposition to label the Premier’s Discretionary Fund a “Liberal re-election slush fund”.

The fund allows for small grants of up to $10,000 to be paid to community groups or individuals.

In the first three months of 2021, grants totalling $92,154 were paid from the fund, to groups such as the Royal Hobart Regatta, Wynyard Agricultural and Pastoral Society, Tasmanian Rare Breeds Poultry Club, Burnie Coastal Art Group, and the Reconciliation Council of Tasmania. 

That is more than the amount paid in the two previous quarters combined, which totalled $84,306, and more than double the $42,162 paid between January and March 2020.  

Between April and June last year the value of grants handed out was higher, at $153,119.

Many of those grants were for COVID-19 preparedness.

Labor finance spokesman Dean Winter said he had concerns about the appropriateness of the fund. 

“The government has used taxpayers’ money to fund a Liberal re-election slush fund,” Mr Winter said. 

“The timing is very curious and the Liberals need to explain what the process was for this money to be distributed in this way.

“When you see slush funds like this used to spend just in this quarter over $92,000, then people would be concerned about the Premier’s spending and whether this program is the best way to spend taxpayer’s money.”

Labor queried the use of the fund during recent Budget Estimates hearings, and asked for a list of the MPs who requested grants. 

The breakdown reveals more than a third of the amount spent between January and March this year —$35,328 — was for 12 grants issued as a result of requests made directly to the Premier. 

Of the other 22 grants, 19 were requested by Liberal MPs. 

Ten Liberal MPs requested grants from the fund, with Clark MHA Elise Archer asking for the most — four grants totalling $18,256 — followed by Braddon MHA Roger Jaensch requesting two grants totalling $8,500 and Franklin’s Nic Street requesting three grants totalling $7,500. 

Labor MLCs Josh Willie and Craig Farrell each requested one grant worth $3,000, while Federal Labor MHR Brian Mitchell requested a grant of $1,700. 

According to the Premier’s department, grant amounts “can vary dramatically between quarters including comparable reporting periods across different years”.

It said no 2021 state election candidates received any grants through the Premier’s Discretionary Fund.

A government spokesman said the fund was a simple way to provide one-off financial support to community members, groups and causes that may not otherwise be eligible for grant funding. 

The spokesman said most grants were relatively small, with a total budget allocation for 2020-21 of $335,000. 

“Any member of Parliament can apply for funding, including from Labor, and the amounts allocated can vary from year to year, quarter to quarter, depending on the specific projects that require funding,” the government spokesman said. 

“Labor should focus on actually listening to and representing their communities, instead of inventing conspiracy theories around this, especially given the low annual value of this fund used to fulfil requests made by all members.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

WhatsApp rolls out redesigned icons, working on “Done” and “Undo” buttons for media editing

© Pexels WhatsApp rolls out redesigned icons, working on “Done” and “Undo” buttons for media editing WhatsApp has rolled out redesigned icons with its latest beta update. Users must update ... Read more »

TMC to launch stir over Centre's BSF move

© Provided by The Statesman TMC to launch stir over Centre’s BSF move The Trinamul Congress is set to launch a movement and build public opinion after the Centre extended ... Read more »

India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 99 crore: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

© Provided by DNA India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 99 crore on Tuesday, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. Taking to Twitter, he said, “We are at 99 crores. ... Read more »

Heathrow given green light to increase passenger charge

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Holidaymakers and frequent flyers are facing yet more misery, with Heathrow set to hike the price it charges airlines by £8 per person. ... Read more »

Commuters told to avoid Sydney trains ahead of driver strike

People who travel by train in Sydney are being urged to stay home tomorrow ahead of a snap strike by rail drivers. The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union is ... Read more »

Greece earthquake: Major tremors strike near Greek islands

An earthquake has struck off the coast of Greece, just four weeks after another shock killed a man and damaged hundreds of buildings on the island of Crete. © REUTERS ... Read more »

Vertical Aerospace calls on the government to deliver electric flights

© Provided by City AM Global aerospace and technology company Vertical Aerospace is calling on the UK Government to deliver electric intercity flights by 2025. In a white paper by ... Read more »

All the latest QPR team news ahead of Blackburn Rovers clash

© Provided by Football League World Championship – West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers Queens Park Rangers will be looking to bounce back from their heavy derby defeat to ... Read more »

Newcastle pair 'pulled apart' in post-match brawl as tensions rise after takeover

Newcastle United pair Isaac Hayden and Jamal Lascelles had to be ‘pulled apart’ in post-match brawl following their 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, according to reports. The alleged ... Read more »

TikTok Says That This Portable Baby Sound Machine Is Absolutely Worth It—& It's Only $20

© Adobe; Amazon. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. You’ve heard of FoodTok and CleanTok, but have you ever heard of BabyTok? If you’re anything like us, you trust TikTok for recommendations on ... Read more »

Bannon and other top Trump officials face legal peril for defying subpoenas

Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images Steve Bannon and other former top officials in the Trump administration are facing legal peril for defying subpoenas issued by the House select committee investigating the ... Read more »

Succession season three review: the billionaires are still behaving badly - and it's delicious to watch

(HBO / Sky Atlantic) The Roys are back in town and thankfully they have not lost their knack for scheming. “F**k the weather,” declares Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) in the ... Read more »

European markets sluggish as traders keep eyes on rising inflation and interest rates

Stocks across Europe were muted on Tuesday morning. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville European stock markets started the day fairly muted on Tuesday, following a day of losses the session before. In ... Read more »

Protestors attempt to disrupt Olympic flame lighting

Greece Olympics Beijing Flame Lighting (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved) Three activists protesting human rights abuses in China broke into the archaeological site where the flame lighting ... Read more »

Tiada sekatan rakyat mohon visa bekerja di ladang Australia, kata menteri

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Menteri Sumber Manusia berkata, timbul kekeliruan mengenai perkara itu baru-baru ini selepas timbalannya, Awang Hashim, menjawab pertanyaan mengenai skim pekerja ladang Australia di Dewan ... Read more »

‘Saudaraku disebalik ujian ada rahmat' – naskhah terkini Ebit Lew

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Ustaz Ebit Lew kini tampil dengan naskhah baharu berjudul ‘Saudaraku disebalik ujian ada rahmat’. (Gambar Instagram) Reda sedikit selepas diuji dengan pelbagai dugaan termasuk ... Read more »

10 must-stream sessions from the Frankfurt Book Fair: from Margaret Atwood to Alois Heigl

© Provided by The National Sessions featuring authors Ibtisam Barakat, left, and Margaret Atwood, centre, and the work of late singer Leonard Cohen will feature in the 2021 Frankfurt International ... Read more »

PAS tak akan biar PH kembali berkuasa di Melaka, kata Idris Ahmad

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Idris Ahmad berkata, semua pihak digesa tidak membuat andaian mengenai kerjasama tiga parti – Umno, PAS dan Bersatu, dalam pembahagian kerusi. KUALA LUMPUR: PAS ... Read more »

'Dune' stars dazzle rainy London for film's premiere

© Tim P. Whitby Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet attend the UK Special Screening of ‘Dune’ at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London. Getty Images A month after its international release, ... Read more »

Meghan Markle's dad threatens to SUE ‘childish' daughter and Prince Harry in bid to see his grandchildren

THOMAS Markle has threatened to sue Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in order to see his grandkids. The Duchess of Sussex's estranged dad said Meghan was “childish” for not letting ... Read more »

Salt Bae news – Nusr-et fans all saying same thing about menu prices, including £50 gold cappuccino & £1,350,00 steaks

DINERS at Salt Bae’s new London restaurant Nusr-et have furiously branded it “PUB FOOD”. Writing on TripAdvisor, the customer branded the restaurant's prices – which include £850 for a gold-coated ... Read more »

Rhea Chakraborty shares FIRST photo with brother Showik since SSR's death, caption wins hearts

© Provided by DNA Rhea Chakraborty, who was under the scanner last year after the death of actor and her boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput, on Monday, shared a photo with ... Read more »

Sooryavanshi: Akshay Kumar To Kick-Start Promotions From This Date And It's Connected To His Mother

© Vineeta Kumar | India.com Entertainment Desk Sooryavanshi: Akshay Kumar To Kick-Start Promotions From This Date And It Has His Mother Connection Mumbai: Actor Akshay Kumar is all set to ... Read more »

Another Multi-starrer for South Star Venkatesh on Cards? Check Details

© Provided by News18 Actor Daggubati Venkatesh has done some extremely popular multi-starrer projects. He did “Venky Mama” with Naga Chaitanya around two years ago and is currently working for ... Read more »

Marathi Actress Snehalata Vasaikar Takes a Break From Social Media

© Provided by News18 Marathi television actress Snehlata Vasaikar is one of those who never hesitate from sharing their views on social media. The actress remains pretty active on social ... Read more »

Rajpal Yadav, Shreyas Talpade all set to entertain with the upcoming comedy 'Mannu aur Munna ki Shaadi

© Provided by Pinkvilla Actors Shreyas Talpade and Rajpal Yadav are set to entertain the audience with their impeccable comedy tropes in their upcoming family drama ‘Mannu Aur Munni ki ... Read more »

Tunisia ex-president poses as Saied's critic-in-chief

Paris-based former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki has emerged as a vocal critic of incumbent Kais Saied’s power grab, but analysts say he may lack the popularity to lead the opposition. ... Read more »

Bellway profits more than double, but supply issues hamper construction

© Mike Egerton Housebuilder Bellway has said annual profits have more than doubled, but warned that supply chain issues are holding back construction activity (Mike Egerton/PA) Housebuilder Bellway has said ... Read more »

FTSE 100 flat as rate hike risks counter mining gains; Bellway jumps

© Reuters/Toby Melville FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 was subdued on Tuesday, as gains ... Read more »

North Korea fires ballistic missile into waters off Japan

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea in what South Korea’s military described as a weapon likely designed for submarine-based attacks. It marks one of the most ... Read more »

Man (30s) dies following car crash in Meath

A man in his 30s has died following a car crash in Co Meath yesterday evening. Gardaí received a report shortly before 9.30pm that a car collided with the back ... Read more »

Reopening on a knife edge as NPHET issues warning to Government

© Provided by Extra.ie The country is back on a knife edge over this Friday’s planned full reopening amid a worrying rise in COVID cases. Health chiefs have warned the ... Read more »

Du Q3 profit slides on higher expenses

© Provided by The National Telecom company du’s revenue jumped 6.9% to Dh2.87bn during the third-quarter. Sarah Dea/The National Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, also known as du, reported a 65.6 ... Read more »

When does the M1 Pro and M1 Max release?

© Provided by Dot Esports Most Apple fans only focus on the events held in September, but the tech giant hardly ever reveals all of its secrets in a single ... Read more »

NIAC recommends vaccine boosters for over 60s

© Sam Boal Chair of NIAC Professor Karina Butler VACCINE BOOSTERS FOR people aged 60 and over have been recommended by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).  The recommendation was ... Read more »

Delivery Hero Leads $1 Billion Funding Round for Gorillas

(Bloomberg) — Most Read from Bloomberg Google’s Biggest Moonshot Is Its Search for a Carbon-Free Future A $30 Billion Fortune Is Hiding in China’s Silicon Valley The Biggest Public Graveyard ... Read more »

Diver finds 900-year-old Crusader's sword off the coast of Israel

© REUTERS A sword believed to have belonged to a Crusader who sailed to the Holy Land almost a millennium ago was found on the Carmel coast An amateur diver ... Read more »

Kanye West has legally changed his name to Ye

© Evan Agostini via PA Images Ye RAPPER, MUSIC PRODUCER and clothing entrepreneur Kanye West is now known as Ye after a court allowed him to legally change his name. ... Read more »

Greta grooves at Stockholm climate concert

The teenaged activist quoted the beginning of Eighties star Rick Astley’s hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” to the crowd, saying: “We are no strangers to love.” She then danced ... Read more »

States, UTs asked to focus on increasing second Covid vaccine dose coverage

Highlighting that the nation is close to administering a billion Covid vaccine doses, the Centre has urged states and Union Territories to focus on increasing the coverage of the second ... Read more »