The Dodgies

Cast your vote!

Our crucial window of opportunity to win a Federal anti-corruption commission is just weeks away.

Not one but four bills introducing a Federal ICAC are due for debate when Parliament sits at the end of this month1,2,3so let’s shine a light on the scandals Morrison would rather everyone forget.

From Porter’s blind trust4 to Dutton’s au pairs,5 the Morrison Government has given us no shortage of doozies to choose from. But there can only be one winner — so vote now and have your pick counted!

You can choose up to three: vote now on the biggest, dodgiest political scandals of recent years!

Christian Porter

Former Attorney General

Blind trust (2021)

  • Part of Porter’s legal fees for a defamation action he took against the ABC had been paid from “a blind trust”6
  • Porter doesn’t know who donated to the trust7
  • Hidden money in politics is a huge problem for our democracy8

Alan Tudge

Former Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population

Commuter car park rorts (2019)

  • Distributed $660 million for car park construction during the 2019 election in seats hand-picked based on advice from MPs and candidates9
  • 77% of the car park sites selected were in Coalition electorates10
  • An Inquiry found ​​a “marginal electorate list” had been the starting point for funding decisions11

Michael Sukkar

Assistant Treasurer

Public funds for political gain (2021)

  • Had intimate knowledge of an alleged scheme using public resources to boost Sukkar’s factional power base12
  • Sukkar’s best friend, younger brother and factional supporters were employed as part of the scheme13
  • Sukkar denies branch stacking allegations, pointing to a Department report which he strongly argued to be kept secret14

Bridget McKenzie

Former Minister for Sports

Sports rorts (2020)

  • Dished out the majority of $100 million of sports grants to marginal electorates just before the 2019 federal election15
  • While sports clubs with decaying toilets and old tin shacks went without, a lavish rowing club in one of Sydney’s richest suburbs pocketed $500,00016
  • A spreadsheet colour-coded by political parties was even used in decision-making17
  • 73% of the projects approved were not recommended by Sport Australia18

Angus Taylor

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

Dodgy council documents (2019)

  • Accused Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore of spending $15 million on climate-polluting travel based on falsified documents provided to the Daily Telegraph19
  • Taylor has claimed he downloaded the documents from the City of Sydney council website but a preliminary police investigation could find no evidence that this was true20
  • Taylor was accused of misleading parliament over the saga21
  • The origin of the documents has never been determined22

Michael McCormack

Former Deputy Prime Minister

Regional growth grants (2019)

  • Oversaw $272 million in regional funding grants that favoured Coalition electorates in the lead up to the 2019 election23
  • 90% of the funding went to Coalition and marginal electorates24
  • Think the sports rorts scandal, but even bigger!

Eric Abetz

Senator for Tasmania

Publicly funded mining gala (2018)

  • Spent $3,000 of public money to attend a luxury dinner celebrating the mining industry25
  • The publicly funded expenses included flights and private cars26
  • A headline speech was given by John Howard27
  • Abetz has no ministerial connection to mining and defended the trip as being in the interests of Tasmania28

Josh Frydenberg

Former Minister for the Environment

Great Barrier Reef grant (2018)

  • Gave $443 million of Great Barrier Reef funding to an obscure foundation as Environment Minister29
  • The foundation had corporate connections to climate denial groups and fossil fuel companies30
  • No open, competitive tender was held for the controversial grant31
  • The Foundation has failed to deliver on its promise to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to save the embattled reef32

Barnaby Joyce

Former Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Water-gate buybacks scandal (2017)

  • Approved an $80 million dollar deal to buy back water from a corporation formerly directed by Angus Taylor33
  • The money was transferred to a parent corporation in the Cayman Islands – a known tax haven34
  • The deal had no open tender process35
  • It was found to be bad value for public money36
  • The corporation declared a $52 million dollar profit37

Mitch Fifield

Former Minister for Communications

Handouts for Foxtel (2017)

  • Oversaw a $30 million handout to Murdoch’s Fox Sports38
  • The funding was ostensibly for women’s sport, but was not attached to any guidelines or conditions39
  • The ABC has to pay Foxtel to show women’s sport, meaning the public pays twice40
  • Fifield was also asked to explain the gift of cufflinks he received from Foxtel later that year but refused to comment41

Peter Dutton

Former Minister for Home Affairs

Au pair intervention (2015)

  • Directly intervened to grant special tourist visas for two women working as au pairs42
  • One worked for a former colleague in the Queensland police force43
  • Reports and departmental emails suggest Dutton took extraordinary measures to overrule border security advice at a moment’s notice44
  • A Senate Inquiry was set up to investigate the circumstances of Dutton’s intervention, and found he misled Parliament45

Select up to three then hit next


    Decades of political scandals and media exposés have put trust in politics at an all time low. Politicians must be held to the highest standard and GetUp believes all politicians in this country should welcome an independent public body to investigate corruption, restore confidence in our elected representatives and bring transparency back to our political system.


    [1] Independent will lobby Coalition MPs to support proposed anti-corruption commission, The Guardian, 21 October 2021.

    [2] Crossbench MPs want stronger federal corruption commission after Sukkar allegations, The Age, 8 November 2021.

    [3] Senate passes Greens bill to create federal Icac, The Guardian, 9 September 2021.

    [4] Christian Porter to be formally asked to explain declaration that ‘blind trust’ helped pay his legal fees, The Guardian, 1 November 2021.

    [5] Revealed: Peter Dutton intervened in Italian au pair visa case for former police colleague, The Guardian, 20 August 2018.

    [6] Christian Porter tenders resignation over recent blind trust scandal, The Canberra Times, 19 September 2021.

    [7] Porter could be forced to leave the front bench, Australian Financial Review, 15 September 2021.

    [8] Christian Porter is beholden to a mystery benefactor. Hidden money is terrible for democracy, The Guardian, 15 September 2021.

    [9] Minister kept 'top 20 marginals' spreadsheet to track projects for $660m car park funding, ABC News, 19 July 2021.

    [10] Car park scandal: same staffer from prime minister’s office was involved in sports rorts, The Guardian, 19 July 2021.

    [11] Car parks targeted government list of marginal electorates, inquiry told, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July 2021.

    [12] Michael Sukkar knew of scheme that misused public funds to boost faction, The Age, 7 November 2021.

    [13] Sukkar rejects allegations he knew of scheme to boost faction, The Mandarin, 8 November 2021.

    [14] Sukkar argued for probe report to stay secret, The Age, 8 November 2021.

    [15] Bridget McKenzie defends 'biased' $100 million sports grants, SBS News, 16 January 2020.

    [16] The $500,000 sports grant that failed to save Abbott, Australian Financial Review, 17 January 2020.

    [17] Sports rorts: document created by McKenzie’s advisor shows grant approvals were biased, inquiry hears, The Mandarin, 3 September 2020.

    [18] Sport Australia warned Bridget McKenzie over sports grants decisions, emails reveal, The Guardian, 20 March 2020.

    [19] Angus Taylor apologises to Clover Moore 'unreservedly' over false travel figures, The Guardian, 31 October 2019.

    [20] NSW police find no evidence Angus Taylor's office downloaded allegedly forged document from Sydney Council website, ABC News, 28 April 2020.

    [21] Angus Taylor 'misled Parliament' in doctored documents saga: Labor, Australian Financial Review, 28 April 2020.

    [22] AFP ‘formed no concluded view’ about who altered documents Angus Taylor used to attack Clover Moore, The Guardian, 13 May 2020.

    [23] Nationals leader Michael McCormack under pressure as Barnaby Joyce lurks, Australian Financial Review, 21 October 2018.

    [24] ‘I don’t care what they call it’: Joyce will push on with regional cash splashes, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2021.

    [25] Eric Abetz billed taxpayers to attend gala mining industry event, The Guardian, 19 June 2020.

    [26] Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz defends $3100 trip to mining gala, The Mercury, 19 June 2020.

    [27] Eric Abetz billed taxpayers to attend gala mining industry event, The Guardian, 19 June 2020.

    [28] Eric Abetz billed taxpayers to attend gala mining industry event, The Guardian, 19 June 2020.

    [29] How reef funds went from $5 million to nearly $500 million in five days, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 September 2018.

    [30] Barrier Reef Foundation grant 'unthinkable, mind-blowing', former board member says, ABC News, 9 August 2018.

    [31] No tender process for $444m Great Barrier Reef grant, Senate hearing told, The Guardian, 21 May 2018.

    [32] ‘A mockery’: Great Barrier Reef Foundation raises just $21m of $357m target, The Guardian, 11 July 2020.

    [33] Barnaby Joyce approved plan to chase $80m water buyback, documents show, The Guardian, 6 June 2019.

    [34] Barnaby Joyce approved plan to chase $80m water buyback, documents show, The Guardian, 6 June 2019.

    [35] Scott Morrison insists Barnaby Joyce did nothing wrong in approving $80 million water buyback deal, ABC News, 23 April 2019.

    [36] Questionable value for money with water buybacks, audit finds, Australian Financial Review, 16 July 2020.

    [37] Barnaby Joyce's department paid 'tens of millions' too much for water, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 2018.

    [38] Government declines to explain Foxtel's $30m handout for sports broadcasting, The Guardian, 19 July 2017.

    [39] FOI reveals nothing about Foxtel sports money, Crikey, 19 July 2017.

    [40] ABC forced to pay Foxtel for rights to women's soccer, Australian Financial Review, 21 October 2020.

    [41] Mitch Fifield refuses to explain Foxtel cufflinks gift days after media reform bill passes Senate, ABC News, 9 October 2017.

    [42] Emails show Peter Dutton's role in intervening to grant visas to European au pairs, ABC, 19 September 2018. 

    [43] Peter Dutton au pair decision helped former Queensland Police colleague, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 August 2018.  

    [44] Revealed: Peter Dutton intervened in Italian au pair visa case for former police colleague, The Guardian, 30 August 2018. 

    [45] Peter Dutton misled Parliament over au pair saga, Senate committee finds, ABC, 20 September 2018.