The ACT's political leaders have clashed over the chief minister's flagship charity fund, in a heated start to this year's annual report hearings.
Opposition leader Alistair Coe opened Monday's hearings by grilling Andrew Barr about the Chief Minister's Charitable Fund, in particular a $7500 grant it handed to a charity linked to the ACT's construction union.
The fund, which is administered by charity Hands Across Canberra, takes money collected from a levy on gaming machine revenue and distributes it to community organisations.
The ACT government has also poured $5 million into the fund, which was founded in 2018.
A total of 29 community-based organisations earlier this year shared in almost $400,000 worth of grant funding.
The fund is designed to target initiatives which fall into four categories - mental health and well being, education and employment, "belonging" and homelessness.
Mr Barr told the hearing that while he was responsible for setting the four "priority" areas, he had no role in assessing applications or choosing recipients.
The fund's board was solely responsible for that, he said.
Mr Coe questioned the basis for a $7500 grant given to the CFMEU's Construction Charitable Works fund, which provides support to construction workers and their families in times of need.
This sort of thing, Mr Coe, is why people think you are the most conservative, right-wing of leader of the Liberal party ever in the territory.Andrew Barr to Alistair Coe
When asked why the union's charity received its grant, Mr Barr said he could not provide an answer immediately, repeating that he was not responsible for administering the fund.
Mr Coe warned Mr Barr that it "wasn't a good look" to appear "evasive" when discussing public money being handed to the Labor-aligned union's charity arm.
That accusation prompted a stinging response from Mr Barr.
"This attack on the CFMEU is typical of your approach to anything that relates to the work of the union movement," Mr Barr said.
"This sort of thing, Mr Coe, is why people think you are the most conservative, right-wing of leader of the Liberal party ever in the territory."
Mr Coe continued with the line of questioning, probing Mr Barr on what information was provided to government on grant recipients.
Mr Barr again hit back angrily, accusing Mr Coe of a "despicable, disgraceful, denigration of an organisation that does not deserve this sort of baseless political attack".
Mr Barr will again front up when the hearings continue on Tuesday.