Pauline Hanson and Bridget McKenzie are increasingly at odds in recent months. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)
There is growing support for a Senate investigation into how the government runs a $ 100 million pre-election sports financing program, with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson backing pressure from the Labor Party and the Greens.
- Greens and Labor want Senate to investigate sports scholarship program
- An audit accused the government of bias in the way some grants were awarded
- Pauline Hanson says donations were used as a "livelihood fund" to win federal elections
These parties want Parliament to investigate Cabinet Minister Bridget McKenzie and the Federal Government after a hard audit of a sports subsidy program, which accused the Coalition of bias in the distribution of funds.
The report of an auditor general found that hundreds of candidates recommended by government agency Sport Australia were rejected by then-sports minister Senator McKenzie in favor of voter clubs that the Coalition wanted to win in last year's federal elections.
"The audit proved that they used pork barrels as a mud bottom," Senator Hanson told ABC.
Senator McKenzie rejected requests from political opponents and clubs that lost funds to give up.
She insists that she followed the rules and that all funded clubs were eligible for the money.
Senator Hanson was in a longstanding dispute with Senator McKenzie over handling of the dairy industry minister, becoming Minister of Agriculture following the May federal election victory.
"If it's to prove they used that money, taxpayer dollars, to decorate their own nest and promote themselves." [then] Yes I want [support the inquiry]"said the leader of the Single Nation.
Parliament is currently on summer vacation, with politicians returning to Canberra for the first session of the year in February.
This will be the first opportunity for the Opposition and the crossbench to seek to initiate the inquiry into the government administration of sports grants.
"Australians expect transparency and accountability from those in power," Senator Janet Rice said on Thursday.
"Senator McKenzie's decision-making process was completely unsportsmanlike, with clubs in safe places barred from winning a grant.
"We will look into this in the Senate estimates and consider seeking Senate support for an investigation."