’She replies to sex­ting but not us’

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - LINDA SILMALIS

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.