MEDIA RELEASE: GOVERNMENT LEAKS CONFIRM MORRISON THE ARCHITECT OF REEF CASH SPLASH
GOVERNMENT LEAKS CONFIRM MORRISON THE ARCHITECT OF REEF CASH SPLASH
The latest leaks from within the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government reported by The Saturday Paper confirm the now Prime Minister Scott Morrison was the architect of the decision to grant almost half a billion dollars in taxpayers’ money to a small private foundation.
“The Saturday Paper understands Morrison argued that allocating reef funding in stages across the budget’s forward estimates was unacceptable because it would commit the government to fixed amounts in future years […] Spending all the funds in the current year would avoid that. But in order for the budget to designate the reef funds as having been spent – and not to have to carry over or reallocate any in future years – the money needed to be given to an organisation that wasn’t a Commonwealth agency.”
We know what happened after that – the Government transferred every single dollar of almost a half billion dollars in taxpayers’ money to a small private foundation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, on 28 June 2018. This was just days before the end of the financial year.
It’s clear Scott Morrison is responsible for trying to privatise the management of the Great Barrier Reef.
The then Treasurer, now Prime Minister is personally responsible for the most reckless piece of financial maladministration in living memory.
Today’s revelation adds to previous reports that the Department of Finance recommended the Budget allocation to protect the Reef be set at $200 million over six years, but the Government instead decided to shovel almost half a billion dollars out the door immediately.
Labor is committed to protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
A Shorten Labor Government will terminate the grant agreement between the Environment Department and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and demand the Foundation return unspent funds to taxpayers. All recovered funds will be invested in the Great Barrier Reef via Government agencies.
SATURDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2018