Parliamentary probe into multi-million-dollar Tasmanian Liberal election grants

Tasmania’s treasurer will be grilled by a parliamentary committee about how the Liberals funded grants during the 2021 election campaign, with concerns growing over “pork-barrelling” allegations 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 did not undergo parliamentary scrutiny.

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

After a heated debate in parliament this week — including allegations of ministers misleading parliament — a joint-parliamentary committee will examine the issue.

Treasurer Michael Ferguson and Treasury secretary Tony Ferrall will face questioning by the parliamentary accounts committee on Monday.

A man in a suit sits at a desk and speaks
Nic Street confirmed he “incorrectly answered” 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 in the 2018 election, with concerns over a lack of process and public scrutiny.

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