Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack puts his boot through the ball at C.ex Coffs International Stadium during a recent visit to Coffs Harbour.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack puts his boot through the ball at C.ex Coffs International Stadium during a recent visit to Coffs Harbour.

McCormack needs the boot over sports rort: club president

THE president of a local sporting association overlooked in the sports rort scandal says The Nationals leader Michael McCormack should be the next to go.

Over the weekend deputy leader of the Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie resigned over her involvement - while sports minister - in the federal government's $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure program.

Ben McCall is the president of the Coffs Harbour Baseball Association which takes in four separate clubs across the region.

Kelly O'Dwyer and the then Minister for Sport, Bridget McKenzie have a kick on the ground after the announcement of a $15 million funding boost to develop Ikon Park, Melbourne, in February last year. (AAP Image/Ellen Smith)
Kelly O'Dwyer and the then Minister for Sport, Bridget McKenzie have a kick on the ground after the announcement of a $15 million funding boost to develop Ikon Park, Melbourne, in February last year. (AAP Image/Ellen Smith)

The association applied for a relatively modest $5,000 for batting cages at their Stadium Drive pitch.

He was glad to hear Senator McKenzie had stepped down but says the leader should be the next to go and funds frozen.

"I think it's justice and fair and shows some sort of guilt and Michael McCormick should be the next to step down as one of the grants was for his son for a large amount to their sporting group," Mr McCall said.

 

President of Coffs Harbour and District Baseball Association Ben McCall.
President of Coffs Harbour and District Baseball Association Ben McCall.

"We still haven't got an explanation as to why we were declined which is really annoying as well. To me all grants should be frozen and redistributed in a professional and fair manner."

It has been revealed that Mr McCormack's son was the treasurer of a sports club that had three funding applications rejected before receiving $145,000 from Bridget McKenzie.

The federal government now faces a bill of up to $65 million to fund the applications that scored highly in the Sport Australia assessment process but were overlooked by then-sports minister Ms McKenzie - allegedly in favour of some that would help the Coalition win the election.

ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES: Hockey Coffs Coast Inc received $200,000 under the program.
ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES: Hockey Coffs Coast Inc received $200,000 under the program.

The National party will meet on Tuesday to replace their outgoing deputy.

Controversial former leader Barnaby Joyce said on Monday he would run for the leadership if his colleagues voted for a spill of both the leader and deputy leader positions.

But Mr McCormack says he is not expecting a spill to be called and that he has the overwhelming support of his party as leader.

Senator McKenzie's resignation opens up the positions of deputy leader, Senate leader and cabinet minister, and an outer ministry post.

Those being named as potential candidates for the deputy's position include Resources Minister Matt Canavan, Veterans' Affairs Minister Darren Chester, NSW backbencher David Gillespie, Emergency Services Minister David Littleproud and Queensland backbencher Keith Pitt.