The Greens’ hypocritical new-found support of wasteful Government advertising is another sign Australia is governed by a Labor-Greens coalition, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
The Senate today passed Senator Birmingham’s motion* stating its clear opposition to any taxpayer funded advertising campaign related to the Government’s planned carbon tax prior to Parliament’s consideration of the Government’s plans.
“It is outrageous for the Government to be using taxpayers’ money to in any way promote or sell its planned new tax on everything before releasing any details on it let alone it actually being voted on by the Parliament,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“It is simply extraordinary that such an abuse of taxpayer money should be supported by the Greens, longtime opponents of such Government advertising, who are clearly prepared to abandon principle as the price for getting into bed with Labor in government.”
Just last year, Greens Leader Bob Brown sought support to prevent such advertising:
“The Australian Greens call on both the Government and the Coalition to support this bill which is designed to protect both the public purse and the public interest from self-invested Government advertising.”
Bob Brown, media release, 30 May 2010
While Senators Xenophon and Fileding maintained their principled stands against abuse of taxpayer dollars, Senator Brown and the Greens abandoned all principle to defend their carbon tax joint venture with Labor.
Today’s motion and extraordinary Greens backflip on Government advertising follows yesterday’s confirmation from Climate Change Minister Greg Combet that his department is developing options for an advertising campaign, having previously budgeted $30 million.
“Not only is Ms Gillard backflipping on her 2010 ‘no carbon tax’ pledge, she is also betraying her 2007 promise to ‘end the abuse of taxpayer funded government advertising’:
“Labor will end the abuse of taxpayer funded government advertising.”
Julia Gillard and Penny Wong, media release, 16 July 2007
“If Labor and the Greens can’t win support on merit for their carbon tax that will financially hurt taxpayers, they shouldn’t be dipping into those same taxpayers’ pockets to help them do so.
“Labor and the Greens both stand condemned for now supporting, for their own political ends and to the detriment and cost of taxpayers, what they once opposed.”



*Motion, as passed today by the Senate despite being opposed by the Greens and Labor:
That the Senate-
(a) notes the past statements by the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) in relation to Government advertising, specifically that ‘Labor will end the abuse of taxpayer funded government advertising’;
(b) expresses its regret at the inconsistency on display as a result of the Government having confirmed it is developing options for an advertising campaign related to its planned carbon tax; and
(c) states its clear opposition to any such taxpayer funded advertising campaign prior to consideration by the parliament of the Government’s carbon tax proposal.