“A grant or a bribe?” »: MP questions John Barilaro in Parliament on a request for funding of $ 50,000 | New South Wales Politics
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro allayed concerns from an unidentified official that a $ 50,000 grant to an agricultural cooperative associated with the family of MP Angus Taylor may be inappropriate .
During Question Time on Thursday Labor MP Yasmin Catley asked Barilaro: “It’s a cinch, Deputy Prime Minister, is it a grant or a bribe?” referring to what the official concerned had written in a note to the file.
The note, an unusual milestone for an official, was revealed during a New South Wales upper house call for contributions on grants to Monaro Farming Systems (MFS), which provides advice and research to the farmers of Monaro. The Guardian revealed it on Thursday
Angus’ brother Richard Taylor created MFS and chaired it until 2019.
MFS has received over $ 800,000 in state and federal grants since 2015. But by 2019 these had dried up and it was seeking funds from the NSW government to continue paying a coordinator. part time.
“I’m concerned about the nature of this deal,” the bureaucrat wrote after being told to make it look like a contract payment for services, rather than a grant.
“I’m concerned about the ethics of this. Is it favoritism? Is it corruption? That does not suit me. would I be an accomplice? I need to chat, ”they wrote.
Another email sent by the Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Kate Lorimer-Ward, in January this year, indicated that the grant was specifically led by Barilaro.
“The Deputy Premier has asked us to provide them (MFS) $ 50,000 to provide outreach services and support industry adoption,” she wrote.
But Barilaro told parliament “unfortunately” he was unable to direct the spending of the Ministry of Primary Industries and questions about the subsidy should be put to Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall.
“A briefing note written by an unidentified bureaucrat does not reflect government processes,” he said.
He said he would continue to fight for funding for his electorate.