The Accountability Round Table has developed a register of notable recent rorts or alleged rorts at Federal and State level. We define a rort as ‘any arrangement or practice that enables, or results in, the misuse of public resources, assets or powers for personal or partisan gain’. We consider that the proper use of public resources, assets or powers is for them to be used consistent with the public trust principle and with transparent, reviewable procedures for identified public benefits. We have not included other failures of accountability which do not centrally feature rorting, such as the Robodebt scandal.

The Register is drawn from several sources including ART members’ own knowledge, the Australian Democrats’ Rorts Watch, Elizabeth Minter’s article Gutless Wonders on John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations blog, Michael West’s QED blog and Michael Pascoe’s report on Grants rorts in the New Daily but ART takes responsibility for the content.

ART Members and other visitors to this site are welcome to comment or suggest updates, corrections or additions using our Contact Us link.

Jurisdiction, party, date, $msName
– Minister responsible
DescriptionLocationInvestigatorKey issues
– the result
Cth, LNP, 2016-21 $1,004mBuilding Better Regions Fund
– Infrastructure
infrastructure and community development grants
national
nationalANAO consideringfavouring government electorates?
Cth, LNP, 2020 $448.5mBushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund
– Agriculture
application process for local communites and businessesnationalGuardianapplication process may favour large companies over small communities
Cth, LNP, 2020-23, $923m/3 yearsCommunity Development Grants
– Infrastructure
infrastructure grants for projects identified by governmentnationalsee this linktiming of grants seems linked to electoral cycle
Cth, LNP, 2020 $301mCommunity Drought Support Program
– Agriculture
grants to councils meeting drought criteria
nationalABCgrants made to ineligble councils
WA, various, 2009-17, $7.5m paElectoral allowancesMisuse of allowances by MPsWA, but similar occurrences in other jurisdictionsWA CCCmisuse of public funds for party political/personal gain
Cth, LNP, 2019 $150mFemale Facilities & Water Safety Stream
– Infrastructure
facilities grants allocated through election promisesnationalABCno guidelines or application. process
Cth, LNP, 2017 $30mFoxtel
– Communications
grant for coverage of under-represented sportsnationalnoneno record of advice
Cth, LNP, 2018 $443.3mGBR Foundation
– Environment
establishment grant to FoundationN QldANAOno competitive process
Cth, LNP, 2020-21, $1,500mLocal Roads & Community Infrastructure
– Infrastructure
support for local councilsnationalnewfavouring government electorates?
Vic, ALP, 2018-19; $17.8k of $3.4mMigrant Workers Centre Grants - PremierMisuse of grants for election campaigningVictoriaVAGOgrants used for campaigning in state and federal elections
Vic, ALP, 2015, <$1mRed shirts - Premierelectorate staff helping candidates in marginal seatsVictoriaVic Ombudsmanmisuse of funds for party purposes - ALP repaid funds
Cth, LNP, 2019 $272mRegional Growth Fund
– Infrastructure
grants to promote growth in regionsnationalgrowth-fund-follows-sport-rorts-playbook/">see this linkallocation favoured government seats 89/11%
Cth, LNP, 2017-2023, $180m











Safer Community Grants - Home Affairsinfrastructure grants to improve local safetynationalANAOMinister alleged to have overturned recommended priorities in favour of targeted electorates
Qld, ALP, 2017-20; $197mSports Grants; SportProcesses and impartiality in awarding of sports grantsQldQld Audit Officeprocesses lacked clarity but grants made broadly consistently across electorates
Cth, ALP,1993-4, $30mSports Rorts Mk I - Sportgrants for sports clubs decided in Minister's Office 'on a great big whiteboard'nationalParl Ctee & ANAOfavouring marginal electorates - Parl Ctee found 'deficient administration'
Cth, LNP, 2020 $102.5mSports Rorts Mk II
– Sport
grants for sports clubs decided by Minister often contrary to advicenationalANAOfavouring government electorates?
– report by PM&C found Minister failed to declare interest in one case
NSW, LNP, 2019 $250mStronger Communities Fund
– Premier
accusations of pork barrelling before electionNSWNSW Parl Cteedestruction of records of reasons for decisions?
– continuing