The Australian National Audit Office slams the Morrison government for mismanagement of health grants.
A review by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) found that a $2 billion Morrison government health and hospitals funding program was “ineffective and fell short of ethical requirements”, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported.
The ANAO found grants were awarded to health projects despite being inconsistent with the rules for awarding Commonwealth funds, and nearly half of all the projects that were funded were in marginal seats.
The SMH said the Health Department “was reduced to monitoring the media to keep track of which projects had been selected for funding by the former Coalition government”.
Independent MP Helen Haines told the SMH the “report shows an appalling abuse of public trust. I am shocked that even our health care could be pork barrelled”.
“This could be sports rorts for hospitals,” she said, referring to a $100 million sports funding program that was also subject to a scathing ANAO review in 2020.
Funding highlighted as problematic by the report included a $4 million grant to the Esther Foundation, which provided counselling services and is now in voluntary administration, a $5 million grant to the Lord Somers Camp, a sporting organisation in Victoria, and a $25 million project to expand the Peel Health Campus in Western Australia in Liberal MP Andrew Hastie’s seat.