Now former Minister Bridget McKenzie has resigned but the most serious problem remains. The government (and Phil Gaetens – long time staffer for Liberal Party MPs charged with writing the so far secret report on the scandal) still maintain there was nothing wrong with the Minister’s intervention in overturning 80% of the $100 million sporting club project grants.
Both major parties are arguing that MPs, because they are elected and ‘accountable’ should be able to ignore decisions (in this case) and recommendations from public servants when it comes to what is now very significant grant expenditure handed out for projects.
But here’s the main flaw in that argument. There is never enough to go around so those MP with clout – ministers in particular – are always able to look after their own interests first – their own clubs and mates, their own re-election and the interests of their party in winning marginal seats.
This is the core of the problem and why public money will be wasted on clubs that don’t need it and trust in politicians continues to erode.