’She replies to sexting but not us’
STAR Liberal MP Eleni Petinos is caught up in an ugly fight with community groups amid allegations she promised them government grants then failed to come up with the cash.
Former executives of the Como Jannali Junior Rugby League Football Club and the founder of Care 4 Kids Sutherland Shire claim not only did they miss out on grants but accuse the MP of “ghosting” them with no replies to multiple calls, letters and emails.
Ms Petinos has strenuously denied those allegations, declaring she never made a commitment of funding to either group. She also challenged the claim she had ignored calls and emails, while questioning the motives of those making the allegations.
The ugly stoush follows revelations last week of Ms Petinos being “sexted” by fellow Liberal and Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean.
It also comes a year after Ms Petinos confessed to being the MP who vomited in the back of a government car after a night out at the State of Origin with Nationals leader John Barilaro.
Former football club treasurer Matthew Jinks said he “gave up” trying to contact Ms Petinos after trying to follow up a pledge of $25,000 he claimed she made towards a new clubhouse.
He said the promise was made at a meeting with himself, former club president Craig Clifton and former secretary Gary Wicks in late 2016, with the grant to be made available in February last year. Mr Jinks said the commitment from Ms Petinos followed the club successfully obtaining an NRL grant of $75,000.
Emails sent to Ms Petinos from the club in November 2016 and again in June 5 last year reveal the club outlining its financial situation, including that it had to cover the $25,000 “which has left us struggling in the 2017 season for cash flow”.
“There were three of us at that meeting and she said: ‘No worries, I’ll make it happen’,” Mr Jinks said.
“Three months later, nothing. No response. She doesn’t reply to anything. She can reply to a sexting message from a minister but not our emails.”
In a separate case, Care 4 Kids founder Danielle Lucas also claimed Ms Petinos had promised funding towards “care packs” for children affected by domestic violence who end up at police stations.
Mrs L Lucas claimed Ms Petinos had offered a donation of f $10,000 and the introduction to a solicitor who would be able to set up the charity as a not-forprofit.
“Her exact words were: ‘I believe in what you do. I want to help you.’ That was the last I heard from her,” Mrs Lucas said.
Ms Petinos said the football club had been informed by the NSW Office of Sport that its application for further funding had been rejected as it had already obtained a government grant.
As for Mrs Lucas, Ms Petinos said there was never any commitment of a $10,000 donation. A mutual contact at Miranda police had raised the possibility of Mrs Lucas applying for funding but Ms Petinos said she herself had never made any pledges.
“All exchanges between Mrs Lucas and myself or my office have always been courteous and professional,” she said.
She says y she will make it o happen. Three months later — nothing
Miranda MP Eleni Petinos has been dragged into an ugly fight over funding.
Care 4 Kids founder Danielle Lucas with her daughter Madeleine and Eleni Petinos, has accused the MP of offering funding.