'More smoking guns than a Clint Eastwood movie': Labor mounts pressure on Bridget McKenzie

Labor is continuing the push for Bridget McKenzie to be sacked from the government ministry heading into next week's parliamentary sitting.

Nationals Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie.

Nationals Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie. Source: AAP

Federal Labor frontbencher Jason Clare is astonished Bridget McKenzie still has a job in the Morrison government's ministry, saying the prime minister has got all the information to act now on the so-called sports rorts scandal.

"She should have been sacked three weeks ago," Mr Clare told ABC television on Saturday.

"There are more smoking guns here than a Clint Eastwood movie."

Labor frontbencher Jason Clare.
Source: AAP

Senator McKenzie is under intense pressure to quit after the auditor-general found the government's $100 million sports grants program favoured marginal and targeted seats before last year's election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he hasn't received advice from Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Philip Gaetjens after ordering him to investigate the scheme.

Mr Gaetjens is also looking into a $36,000 grant the former sports minister awarded to a Victorian shooting club of which she is a member.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie.
Source: AAP

Since Mr Morrison ordered his department secretary to look into the handling of the program.

"Any other prime minister would have sacked Bridget McKenzie by now," Mr Clare said.

"Think about this - (former Liberal MP) Bronwyn Bishop got sacked for a $5000 helicopter ride. This is $100 million of taxpayers' money, and the prime minister still hasn't acted."

Parliament returns for its first sitting week of the year from Tuesday.

Liberal MP Jason Falinski expects Mr Gaetjens to present his report sometime this weekend.

"The prime minister will then announce the outcome of that review and we'll have to go from there," Mr Falinski told ABC television.

The prime minister insists all projects that received grants were eligible and claims the program was not about saving the coalition at the election.

Mr Morrison told the National Press Club this week his role was only to relay representations he had received.


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Published 1 February 2020 at 10:46am, updated 1 February 2020 at 11:09am

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