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Labor Government to examine Grants Approved by Former PM Following Portfolio Saga

The Australian Labor government is reviewing a grant program implemented by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and may eliminate funding from related industry projects.

After it had been revealed that the former prime minister secretly swore himself into five minister roles between 2020 and 2021, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Morrison had approved 17 projects within the Modern Manufacturing Initiative right before the federal election occurred in-may.

The news headlines outlet said Morrison was targeting Australian voters with the $828 million (US$571 million) spending program as over fifty percent of the manufacturing projects were situated in electorates held by the Liberal-National Coalition, while just four were in safe Labor seats.

Federal Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic said the Labor government was reviewing the funding and that it had been easy for some projects to reduce the grants.

Were going right through the review, and well decide, he told ABC radio. This is a very big call to take money off the table for industries and businesses which have factored that in.

Epoch Times Photo
Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic speaks to media throughout a press conference in Canberra, Australia, on, may 13, 2021. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

While news of the grant program emerged following a revelation of Morrisons ministerial intervention, Husic said he launched overview of this program earlier.

The minister also expressed his disapproval of Morrisons explanation he had a need to sign-off on the grants since it was associated with multiple portfolios.

That is clearly a very convenient retrofit by the prime minister, he said,

Ive been concerned for a long time I was concerned this past year when I saw Morrison had made himself your choice maker, wrote to him and his people didnt think there is any issue with that.

The reviews email address details are expected to turn out prior to the Labour government announces its federal budget in October.

Pork-Barrelling In Grant Programs

Husics comments came following the Grattan Institute released a fresh report on pork-barrellingdiverting government funding to focus on certain voters linked to sitting MPs.

The report indicated that federal and state governments, and both sides of politics, engaged in pork-barrelling, with some grant programs having obvious signs of politicisation.

Simultaneously, it discovered that on the list of 19,000 grants approved by the prior Coalition government between 2017 and 2021, $1,9 billion was assigned to Coalition seats, while $530 million visited Labor seats.

Danielle Wood, the reports lead author and Grattan Institute leader, said the practice was becoming more frequent.

Pork-barrelling could be legally grey, nonetheless it isn’t good government, she said.

It wastes taxpayers money, undermines public rely upon our political leaders and institutions, and promotes a corrupt culture.

In light of the negative impacts due to pork-barrelling, the Institute recommended that public servants maintain charge of grant allocations. However, Husic said your choice should stick with politicians.

Parliamentarians are elected to represent both community and national interest at the federal level, he said.

Alfred Bui

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Alfred Bui can be an Australian reporter located in Melbourne and targets local and business news. He could be a former small business operator and contains two masters degrees running a business and business law. Contact him at alfred.bui@epochtimes.com.au.

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