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Frydenberg trying to deflect attention from Turnbull's Reef cash splash meeting



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THE HON TONY BURKE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS MEMBER FOR WATSON

FRYDENBERG TRYING TO DEFLECT ATTENTION FROM TURNBULL’S REEF CASH SPLASH MEETING

Last night in an interview on 7.30, the Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg defended the probity of the Government giving $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation by saying the Department of Environment has had more than 20 meetings with the Foundation since early April.

LEIGH SALES: You are an experienced minister. It didn't give you any pause that you were making a $400 million grant to an organisation which, at the time had just six full time staff, without any due process. That didn't strike you as unusual, that it was just you and Prime Minister sitting there and you handed over $400 million?

JOSH FRYDENBERG: Look, my department, including my secretary, have had more than 20 meetings since early April with the foundation, and like I said, the Commonwealth, the State Government of Queensland, will be consulted on investment decisions.

What the Minister neglected to say was that none of these meetings took place before the Prime Minister personally met with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation on 9 April 2018 to offer the largest donation of taxpayers’ money to a private foundation in history.

The fact that the Department was then forced to rush in with so many meetings after the Prime Minister had already offered almost half a billion dollars to the Foundation doesn’t detract from the fact that this cash splash was done without process, probity or foundation.

FRIDAY, 3 AUGUST 2018

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