Australian minister resigns over funding scandal

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s agriculture minister has been forced to resign after she was found to have steered public money to sports clubs in seats the conservative government was targeting ahead of an election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Bridget McKenzie — a former sports minister — had resigned for failing to reveal she was a member of one of the shooting clubs that received taxpayer cash.

Morrison, who is already facing heavy criticism for his handling of Australia’s months-long bushfire crisis, insisted he had dealt with the week-long grants scandal in a “stable, calm and careful” manner.

McKenzie had reportedly ignored recommendations from Sports Australia about who should get the money, instead funnelling it to areas that would help the ruling coalition.

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