Prime Minister Scott Morrison has just confirmed that Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie will step down over her involvement in the sports rorts scandal.
McKenzie, who was the sports minister at the time $100 million of funding was allocated, will stand down from her position after a departmental report found her to be in breach of ministerial standards.
Since the scandal first broke weeks ago, an auditor-general report has found “evidence of distribution bias in the award of grant funding,” with a majority of the program’s $100 million funding focused on areas in which the Coalition was trying to win marginal seats at the then-upcoming election.
The report found that 70% of second round grants and 73% of third round grants approved by the then-Agriculture Minister were not recommended by Sport Australia, according to 10 Daily.
In particular, McKenzie’s failure to declare her gun club memberships in a timely manner were found to be in breach of ministerial standards.
In a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that McKenzie has resigned from her position following the sports rorts scandal that has rocked the government over the past few weeks.
“This is Federal Cabinet, there are standards that must be upheld and she understands that and so do I,” Morrison said in an announcement on Sunday. “But I don’t think that that in any way takes away from the outstanding work that she has done as a minister both in my government and my predecessor’s government.”
Despite the report finding McKenzie to be in breach of ministerial standards in regards to her gun club membership, Morrison thanked her for her service to the government and the country as a whole.
“I particularly want to thank Bridget for the amazing work she has done regional Australia,” he said of the former minister. “She has been a drought champion for these farming and rural communities around the country.”
In a statement released by McKenzie, she has asserted that she’s “committed to remain as a Victorian National Party Senator” and will continue to fight “for the needs of rural and regional Australians.”