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‘Half a billion dollars of public money you simply didn’t ask for’: Senator Keneally lashes reef handout

Labor Senator Kristina Keneally says it “beggars belief” why a not-for-profit was granted $444 million by the Turnbull government.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation boss Anna Marsden said of the mysterious handout, “it’s like we’ve just won the lotto”.

At a time when our farmers, who have been begging for help as they struggle through one of the worst droughts of the century, were given $190 million, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation asked for nothing and got almost half a billion dollars.

Senator Keneally tells Ben Fordham she “simply can’t” explain it.

“Last week we were hearing about farmers just giving up and applying for the household income support for the drought because it was too hard, the application process was too hard.

“We’ve got people with a disability who can’t get their plans approved under the NDIS and yet if you’re part of this small private foundation you get summoned to a meeting with the Prime Minister and he offers you “half a billion dollars of public money you simply didn’t ask for.”

WATCH | Senator Keneally explains how $44 million will be spent on administration costs 

She says, “government did not consult with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority”, the public body tasked to look after the reef.

“We just know this money has been granted.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview