The Alice Springs Golf Club, which numbers Sports Minister Matt Conlan among its members, has been given a grant of $300,000 by the Northern Territory Government.

In a sometimes fiery night of Budget Estimates hearings that saw one committee member thrown out, Mr Conlan was questioned about not declaring his interest in the club.

But the Sports Minister was not apologetic, reaching into his bag for a hefty club to drive home changes in Territory politics since the Country Liberals won power last year.

He said that, for more than 10 years, the former Labor government's focus had been on Darwin and now it was time for more emphasis to be given to the Red Centre

During the hearings at Parliament House in Darwin last night, Mr Conlan sparked protests by insisting on reading out long lists of tiny grants to various sporting organisation as time for questions ebbed away.

"Humpty Doo Bowls Club, $3,000; Katherine Offroad Motorcycle Sports Club, $3,000...," he droned.

It was too much for Independent MLA Gerry Wood, who accused the minister of wasting time.

Committee chair Lia Finocchiaro was quick to react.

"Member for Nelson, you can have an early mark," she said.

But among the details that came out in the reading, was the larger grant to the golf club.

The Opposition pointed out that it was the same amount of money that had been spent by Labor to bring top-grade Rugby Union games to the Territory.

Mr Conlan had pointed out that these games would not continue to be supported because they did not provide "enough bang for bucks".

But he was later forced on to the back foot over questions about the grant to the golf club.

Revealing that he was a club member, he took time to extol its virtues.

He said it was one of the Top 10 desert golf clubs in the world.

Members of golf clubs in Darwin, he said, conceded that it was one of the best courses in the Territory.

Labor's Ken Vowles remained sceptical about: "You being a member and not registering on your interest, and then giving it a $300,000 grant."

A former president of the now-closed Alice Springs Bowls Club says Territory sporting clubs are often given taxpayers' money according to political connections.

David Billington was responding to news of the $300,000 grant to Alice Springs Golf Club.

"I think it just goes to show what happens in the Territory quite often, to be honest with you," he said.

"It's who you know, not what you know."

 

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