The shock resignation yesterday by Andrew Constance as a candidate for the Eden-Monaro by-election will delay the introduction of a new federal government grants program that is being hailed as the “most refreshingly honest thing ever done in Australian politics”.
Only hours before pulling the pin because some other political cunt had called him a cunt, Mr Constance had taken part in a Liberals promotional photoshoot (above) with dozens of the novelty cheques to be presented with the rollout of the new grants program.
And it’s a scheme that is amazingly and refreshingly different from anything any government has attempted before.
The experts all said COVID-19 would change forever the way we do things and the subject of almost universal admiration among the nation’s political writers and columnists is the new $120 million Concentrated Regional Rorts Program (CRRP), announced yesterday morning by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“There will be no need for colour-coded spreadsheets or questionable ministerial discretion for this unique program,” Mr Morrison said.
“And as you can see by the title, it has absolutely nothing to do with sports.
“This is political rorting at its purest and it will all be administered from my office. Not only does every last red cent of the project go to one electorate – Eden-Monaro – but it must be spent over the next month or so.”
With Federal Parliament adjourned due to the coronavirus, the decision to create and distribute the funding was the PM’s by “executive action”.
“I don’t want to see any accusations of cover-up or corruption with this project. It’s plain and simple porkbarrelling at its basest level and it’s something all sitting governments of both sides of politics are perfectly entitled to do,” Mr Morrison said.
“The oversized novelty cheques are being prepared as we speak for a number of small and moderately sized projects throughout the electorate and I’ve selected Andrew Constance due to his outstanding leadership role in battling the South Coast bushfires to deliver them personally in the coming weeks,” Mr Morrison said.
“I want all of that money to be splashed Liberally around the electorate without delay.”
Mr Constance’s shock withdrawal shortly after the PM launched the grants scheme means the project is now stalled until the Liberals find a new candidate.
Nominations close on Friday and names being bandied about include former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Georgina Downer and at least five Institute of Public Affairs adjunct professorial directors/policy creators.
In Canberra, ABC national political editor Andrew Probyn (pictured) said he was sorry to hear of Mr Constance’s withdrawal as he believed he would have done a “stellar” job as a federal parliamentarian.