A controversial sports grants program which saw Dubbo groups benefit has been defended by the federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton.
Former federal sports minister Bridget McKenzie has been under fire after the Australian Auditor-General released a report into the Community Sport Infrastructure program which awarded $100 million in grants to groups across Australia.
The report revealed Senator McKenzie's office made up its own rules for dolling out grants, went against Sports Australia advice about which projects should get money and preferred to give taxpayer funds to projects based in electorates the Liberal and National parties were seeking support from in the 2019 election.
Mr Coulton said the grant program made five projects possible in his electorate and he was fully supportive of all that it delivered to groups in need.
"I have worked alongside my federal colleague, former minister for sport Bridget McKenzie, to successfully deliver $913,481 to fund five fantastic sporting infrastructure projects in the Parkes electorate," he said.
"These projects speak for themselves by delivering genuine benefits to communities in my electorate.They will help to support local jobs, increase participation in sport and get more Australians moving more often.
"Most importantly, though, these projects will lift morale across communities in my electorate which have been suffering the impacts of the unrelenting drought."
The Rawsonville Pony Club, which had 43 members, was one of the groups in Mr Coulton's electorate that got $146,899 to upgrade its facility.
"Rawsonville Pony Club is an excellent example of a strong local sporting club, with a hardworking committee behind it," Mr Coulton said.
"We have seen first-hand the positive impacts that the Community Sport Infrastructure grant program has been delivering for so many grassroots sporting organisations and local communities right around the country."
Mr Coulton said the grants program also delivered more than $60,000 to Dubbo's Paramount Tennis Club for a lighting upgrade that would allow more people to play sport at night.