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In early 2020, it came to light that tens’ of millions of dollars in sporting club grants were awarded to clubs whose applications for funding would otherwise have been unsuccessful. This happened after the Minister for Sport applied her own decision-making criteria to overrule the merit-based assessments made by Sport Australia. A report by the Australian National Audit Office concluded that the grants awarded by the Minister in the course of the 2019 federal election campaign prioritised marginal and ‘targeted’ seats, and that there was no legal basis evident to permit the Minister to award the grants, rather than Sport Australia.

Clubs which Sport Australia decided were worthy of funding but missed out may have rights to seek legal remedies.

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