Australian of the Year betting scandal

A national crime watchdog has been asked to investigate suspicious betting on the 2021 Australian of the Year awards.

The National Australia Day Council referred betting on the awards to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission on January 25.

Tasmanian sexual assault survivor Grace Tame was named 2021 Australian of the Year, but betting outlets had her listed as a favourite before the announcement, with odds as low as $1.36.

The second favourite was Australia’s former chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy, with odds of $3.50.

About 180 people signed non-disclosure agreements for this year’s awards, promising not to reveal the name of the Australian of the Year before it was officially announced.

All staff, contractors, and broadcasters involved with the awards have to sign the agreement, which has a specific non-betting clause.

The Council says it has been concerned about betting on the awards for several years, and it has spoken to authorities about having betting markets on the awards shut down.

The Australian of the Year winners were selected in December.

© AAP 2021