Victoria Shadow Minister for Scrutiny Of Government David Davis
Coalition Launches Anti-Ad Salvo Against Brumby
Victor P Taffa
‘I make it absolutely clear to the Parliament and the people of Victoria that we will not tolerate the sort of abuse of taxpayers’ money that has been occurring in the funding of political advertisements under the government.’ John Brumby, Legislative Assembly, 8 March 1995
Only the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition will stand up for taxpayers whose money is being abused for Party-Political Self-Promoting Government Advertising Campaigns, Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government David Davis said today.
Launching the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition’s first television ad of the election campaign, Mr. Davis said Premier John Brumby’s arrogance was on show every day with taxpayer-funded ads promoting his incompetent government.
Taxpayer-funded spending on government advertising space reached a record $124 Million last financial year, on the Government’s own admission, even before Advertising Production costs are taken into account.
Many of John Brumby’s ads, including the Shine Education Ads, the It’s part of the plan transport campaign and the regional Victoria blueprint ads are overtly Political and designed to get the Government re-elected.
“In 1995, John Brumby promised he would put an end to Party-Political Ads funded by the taxpayer, describing this shameful practice as ‘abuse’ and promising ‘It will be the first piece of legislation we put through’.” Mr. Davis said.
“Despite John Brumby’s posturing, his government has spent at least $1.3 Billion Dollars on advertising while Victorians have suffered from collapsing basic services such as Health, Transport and Policing.” Mr. Davis said.
“Victorians are struggling because of Labor’s incompetence, but instead of fixing broken basic services John Brumby wastes their taxes on endless ads promoting himself and his Government.”
“The Coalition will be campaigning hard against John Brumby and his incompetent government on this issue because Victorians are disgusted that their taxes are being blown on ads promoting Labor when they should be used to fund our failing services.”
“For example, John Brumby’s transport ads promote his performance on Transport when our Public Transport System is failing and trains are overcrowded, unreliable, late and unsafe.” Mr. Davis said.
In September this year the Coalition introduced a Private Member’s Bill on Government Advertising in the Upper House, which was passed with the support of the Greens and the DLP but voted down by Labor when it reached the Lower House.
If elected, the Coalition will reintroduce to Parliament its Government (Political) Advertising Bill which aims to set up an Independent Government Advertising Campaign Review Panel to vet and control government advertising using strict guidelines first promised by John Brumby as Opposition Leader in 1995 a promise broken by him in Government.