If the truth is out there, it won‘t be funded by the government anymore.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter has launched an urgent probe to determine how a UFO group received thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ funds.
Mr Porter said he was unaware his department had approved nearly $6000 of grants for the Tuggerah Lakes UFO Group on the New South Wales central coast since 2013.
The funding, exposed by News Corp and confirmed by the ABC, was first provided by the Labor government to assist with the cost of transporting volunteers with a disability.
Mr Porter, who is an avid sci-fi fan, said it was a “beam me up Scotty” moment when he found out about the funding.
“I’m sure they’re very nice people and there are lots of volunteers who are getting something out of it, but looking at it from my perspective, representing taxpayers, it didn’t seem to pass a common sense test,” Mr Porter said.
“I asked the department to hold the transmission of funds until they could give me a little more detail around what the group does.”
Mr Porter said he wouldn’t be swayed by suggestions the Central Coast region was a hot spot for UFO sightings.
“It’s very hard to unpack cause and effect,” he said.
“You tend to find a lot of sightings when you’re funding UFO sighting groups.”
Official records show the department approved $2645 for the UFO group in this year’s volunteer grant program.
The group received $2994 in 2013.
The Tuggerah Lakes UFO Group has 822 members on Facebook and was created to “share news, information, support friends and network in UFO matters as well as related topics”.
The ABC has tried to make contact with the UFO group.