This just-released Senate Administration of Sports Grants report makes some sensible recommendations but it was chaired by Labor’s Kristina Keneally and the Government wrote a strongly dissenting report, defending the actions of the minister. So nothing to see here!
It was a predictable and political exercise from the outset and there will be no change as a result but at least Labor is on the record and can be held to account if and when it gets into government.
What’s missing from the recommendations is a proper system of grant-making that is fairly distributed and doesn’t rely on how well the application is written or whether there is political advantage to the government of the day.
Expenditure on sporting facilities should be directed to communities in need rather than advantaging already wealthy golf clubs.
Senate inquiries are hugely important in hearing evidence, openly and transparently and they can be agents of significant reform, but this requires cooperation and none of that was on display in this inquiry.
Here are two recommendations we really like.
The committee recommends that the Australian Government ensure the ANAO has the requisite level of resourcing it needs to properly scrutinise government expenditure and activities.
The committee recommends that the Australian Government establish a national integrity commission with the standing powers of a Royal Commission as a matter of urgency.