Parliamentary inquiry into multi-million dollar Tasmanian Liberal election grants

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Tasmania’s treasurer will be grilled by a parliamentary committee over how the Liberals funded subsidies during the 2021 election campaign, with concerns over “pork barrel” claims and a lack of transparency.

The government has been under increasing pressure over the allocation of $15 million in taxpayer funds, including $2.47 million covering 111 projects, which have not undergone parliamentary scrutiny.

In one example, a Liberal candidate announced a $100,000 grant to a volleyball club he was involved with.

After heated debate in Parliament this week – including allegations that ministers misled Parliament – a joint parliamentary committee will investigate the issue.

Treasurer Michael Ferguson and Finance Minister Tony Ferrall will be questioned by the parliamentary accounts committee on Monday.

A man in a suit sits at a desk and talks
Nic Street confirmed he “answered incorrectly” questions about the Local Communities Facilities Fund in June.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Committee chair, independent Upper House member Ruth Forrest, said the issue had been “on the radar” since the Integrity Commission released a report at the 2018 election, raising concerns about a lack of process and public scrutiny.

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