Yesterday we reported on the AEC's publication of a report detailing funds raised by Australian political parties, particularly the $3.5M handed over to Labor/Liberal and The Greens by AusAid.
That money is provided under a program set up by the Howard Government in 2006 for the Liberal and Labor Parties - each to receive $1M per annum. It was extended to include The Greens, surprise surprise, during the reign of the PM who gave them anything they wanted.
The Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program has a website which tells us this:
Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program
It was reviewed in 2008 by the Australian National Audit Office.
Its report includes gems like this:
In submitting their annual applications for grant funding under the Program, each party is required to provide details of the purposes for which the grant funding will be used in the year. The grant deeds entered into between Finance and each of the political parties for each year require that the grant funding be spent only in accordance with the grant deed and the Program guidelines. However, there is no requirement in the grant deed for the parties' expenditure to be used for the purposes outlined in their funding application.
It was reviewed again in 2011 by DFAT.
And it looks like exactly what it is. An unnecessary rort that hands big money to the big political parties.
The grants are not subject to any competitive process.
The parties face no threat of missing out on our money.
And the money is only there for the political parties - outsiders need not apply.
I hope the Commission of Audit is taking a close look.
Here's how Labor justified a lazy taxpayer $3 million.