A list of successful grants recipients released by Sport Australia shows there were multiple grants awarded to sports clubs in government-held electorates under threat from independent candidates or those where the government wanted to unseat an incumbent independent MP.
Here's how a number of ACM mastheads reported on the situation in their electorates:
Grants awarded in Bass under the contentious Community Sports Infrastructure Grants Program were "worthwhile and eligible", and did not play a part in her election victory last year, Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer says.Four clubs received more than $700,000 between them. READ ON
The quote: "I can guarantee that every project that achieved funding here in Bass was worthwhile and eligible," Ms Archer said.
Members of a central Victorian sports club are devastated they missed out on sports infrastructure funding, after discovering they were among the most in-need applicants.
Kyneton District Soccer Club president Ron Cole said it was disappointing to find out the club scored 87 on the grant eligibility criteria, well above the cut off of 74. He wants the government to stop using sporting clubs as political pawns. READ ON
The quote: "To find out you're not successful just because of a political agenda is very disheartening for the people involved."
Hindmarsh Shire Council says it has "zero faith" in the process of receiving federal grants for sporting infrastructure.
The council's application to replace Nhill's Davis Park grandstand was given a score of 84 per cent out of 100 by Sport Australia's system of evaluation but was knocked back. READ ON
The quote: "Clearly it has nothing to do with the merit of the actual project. Nothing against Pakenham ... but they are obviously in a marginal seat that the government was trying to hold."
Tamworth has been caught up in the "sports-rort" scandal, after the council's application to the grant scheme was revealed as one of the most highly recommended in the country. The application was for additional lighting at the Riverside sporting precinct worth $432,304. READ ON
The quote: "If you totally rely on bureaucracy for the delivery of projects, then don't have ministers anymore," Barnaby Joyce said. "To take counsel [from bureaucracy] is one thing; to take instruction is something else completely."
South Wagga Apex Club has been entangled in the Bridget McKenzie sports rorts scandal when its $385,448 request to build a new bike track at Lake Albert was denied despite scoring highly in the assessment process. READ ON
The quote: Labor councillor Dan Hayes said it was "disappointing" that one of the city's own community groups was "shafted" in this "absolutely outrageous" scandal.
WEST WODONGA, VICTORIA:
A PROJECT to build new changing rooms at a Wodonga oval was rejected under a federal government sports grants scheme, despite being among the most deserving.
Wodonga Council sought $160,000 for the pavilion at Emerald Oval through the community program administered by then Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie. READ ON
The quote: Moira Council chief executive Mark Henderson said it was "good to see" Sport Australia saw merit in the project, but was unwilling to comment on the politics surrounding its rejection.
The Kaleen Tennis Club was one of four around the country to miss out on funding under the sports grants that have left the future of Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie in doubt, while two other Canberra clubs won funding for the same project.
Kaleen club treasurer Peter Corkran said the club had been disappointed to miss out and didn't know why. READ ON
The quote: "Absolutely we were expecting [to be successful] from the way Tennis ACT explained the situation to us. We were very confident of getting it with their support."