(Image: Private Media)

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham didn’t even try to defend the Coalition’s pre-election rorting of a scheme to build commuter car parks.

“The Australian people had their chance and voted the Morrison government back in at the last election and we are determined to get on with local infrastructure, as we are nation-building infrastructure,” Birmingham told the ABC’s Insiders yesterday morning. 

Birmingham said the quiet part out loud. The government no longer cares about getting caught pork-barrelling, so long as it wins elections. And so long as it can ride out any brief political fallout, and wait until a distracted electorate forgets, it knows it won’t suffer any real consequences. That’s why, a day before the latest Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report dropped detailing the government’s blatant misuse of the Urban Congestion Fund, Bridget McKenzie, briefly sidelined over her role as the architect of sports rorts, returned to cabinet.