The Guardian Australia says Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances received a $60,000 scholarship to attend the Whitehouse Institute designed school, where the chairman is a Liberal Party donor.
While the report raised questions over whether the prime minister should have declared the scholarship on his register of interest, a spokesperson said it was awarded on merit and was therefore not a gift.
“Under the Statement of Registrable Interests, a scholarship is not a gift, it is an award based on merit and disclosure is not required. If alternative advice is provided, Mr Abbott will meet the amended requirements,” the spokeswoman told the Guardian.
Abbott is also currently under fire from student groups over changes to tertiary education regulations unveiled in the federal budget which include the removal of fee caps. This could see some degrees become incredibly expensive.
The chairman of the board of governors at the Whitehouse Institute, Les Taylor, has donated clothes to the prime minister — who he has known for several years — according to the Guardian’s report.
The school confirmed Frances Abbott received a scholarship but declined to reveal how often they were awarded. Its website also says scholarships are not awarded for the degree she undertook, though can be made available to students who have already enrolled.
Its spokesperson said the scholarship was made available on the basis of an “application and art portfolio”.
There’s more here.
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