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Death of accountability, one car park space at a time

A document topped by the term “top marginal electorates” was swapped between the office of former infrastructure minister Alan Tudge and the office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison ahead of the 2019 election.

It was used to determine where car parks would be promised during that election campaign.

There is no question the document exists. It has been sighted by officials from the Auditor-General’s office whose report into the Commuter Car Park fund showed it was used to channel money into projects overwhelmingly in Liberal electorates or which the Coalition believed it was a chance of winning.

But Tudge says he knows nothing of it. Morrison, pressed on the issue at a press conference, deliberately avoided answering whether he knew of the document’s existence or had seen it.

According to the Prime Minister, Australians are the “winners” from this scheme. This is a scheme that has delivered just three completed car parks in more than two years.


Under this scheme, some of the 47 car parks have already been abandoned because they cannot physically be built.

Under this scheme, more projects have suffered huge cost blowouts and may never be put in place.

Under this scheme, Josh Frydenberg managed to promise a car park for a railway station that will soon not exist.

Under this scheme, the seats of Kooyong and Deakin were promised eight car parks between them. But the seat of Chisholm, which sits between them and through which two rail lines run, didn’t attract one. Chisholm did not have a sitting Liberal MP.

Under this scheme, three projects were promised to the western Sydney seat of Lindsay where Labor faced an uphill battle to retain. There are 28 railway stations between Lindsay and Sydney’s Central station – almost all in safe Labor seats – yet none of those managed to get promised extra parking.

Under this scheme, $660 million in taxpayers’ money is being used to further the political ends of a party.

That means no one is a winner. St Augustine, who taught that Adam and Eve were punished for their pride and foolishness, would certainly agree.

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