Sport

Sports minister facing mounting pressure to resign amid probe into sport grants

Sports minister facing mounting pressure to resign amid probe into sport grants
Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie has rejected speculation she is preparing to quit over a deepening sports rorts scandal engulfing the coalition government.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has referred a $100 million grants program to top public servant Philip Gaetjens to see if the former sports minister breached ministerial standards.
A damning auditor-general's report found most of cash was spent in marginal seats before last year's federal election.
Despite immense pressure to quit her senior cabinet role, Senator McKenzie is digging in.
"The minister is not resigning. She is actively engaging in the process and is confident there has not been a breach in ministerial standards," a spokeswoman told AAP.
Mr Morrison is due to hold a press conference at 1pm AEDT.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is trying to tighten the screws on Senator McKenzie and link the scandal to Mr Morrison's office.
"This abuse is rank. It stinks more than a bucket of prawn heads that you left out on a hot day like today. The stench goes all the way up to the government," he said.
"Bridget McKenzie needs to resign and there needs to be full transparency about which applications were successful, which applications weren't, where they ranked, what the process was behind this scandal."
The auditor-general found Senator McKenzie ignored Sport Australia's advice on which organisations should get grants, with 73 per cent of the projects not recommended by the agency.
Senator McKenzie came under increasing pressure on Wednesday after it was revealed she gave $36,000 to a Victorian shooting club of which she is a member.
© AAP 2020