News National Revealed: Where the federal government splashes coronavirus cash

Revealed: Where the federal government splashes coronavirus cash

The federal government has allocated more than $400 million in taxpayer grants for COVID-19. Photo: Getty
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The federal government has spent taxpayer money to combat the health and economic effects of the coronavirus in Australia.

By June, the Commonwealth funding support totalled $133 billion.

So where has it gone?

The big-ticket items including JobKeeper ($70 billion), boosting employer cash flow ($31.9 billion), the coronavirus supplement to the JobSeeker payment ($14 billion) and two $750 payments to eligible households ($8.83 billion) make up the bulk of the funding.

But what about grants?

The New Daily dived into the federal government’s awarded grants for COVID-19 related items to see where taxpayer’s money has been spent.

The aviation industry has been given more than $140 million in COVID-19 related grants while disability services have received just $165,000.

So far, the public purse has been slugged to the tune of $423 million in 1063 approved grants – with an average cost of nearly $400,000.

And there is more than $100 million in the pipeline.

Regional Express has been Australia’s biggest COVID-19 grant recipient.

The airline received nearly $54 million in no-strings-attached taxpayer cash as well as an additional $13 million in two other support packages.

Another regional airline, Fly Corporate (owned by parent company Vee H Aviation) which services regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, also received more than $7 million in federal funds.

Six of the smallest grants also related to the federal government’s domestic airline package, while the four others were a part of the COVID-19 Meals on Wheels program for aged-care residents.

By sector, the aviation industry has, by far, been the biggest recipients of Australian taxpayer money with $146 million given to domestic airlines.

Another $15.5 million has been spent on COVID-19 airline freight.

Three Australian sporting bodies – Netball Australia, Rugby Australia and Football Federation Australia – all received in excess of $250,000.

More than $50 million has been spent on the Meals on Wheels program with 440 aged-care providers receiving funding.

In terms of future funding, back in April, it was announced Australia’s zoos and aquariums would receive nearly $100 million – with grant applications closing by the end of the month – while tens of million dollars are yet to be allocated in the aged care, aviation and medical research space.