Millions of taxpayer dollars are going to a cheer squad of organisations supporting Julia Gillard’s carbon tax at the same time as the Government’s taxpayer funded advertising campaign has blown out to twice the announced cost, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
Under questioning from Senator Birmingham in a Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates hearing, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) today exposed the extent to which Labor is abusing taxpayer funds to sell its carbon tax, including that: 
  • $4m was spent sending glossy brochures to every Australian household
  • $20.1m was spent on a media advertising campaign ($16.2m on advertising buy and $3.9m on campaign development)
  • $13m is being spent on the Government’s so called ‘Climate Change Foundation Campaign’ funding activist groups around Australia 
“This is a vast blowout in barely four months on the $12 million campaign announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet on 16 June, even without the cheer squad slush fund,” Senator Birmingham said.
DCCEE officials confirmed the Foundation Campaign is funding the activities of activists supporting Labor’s carbon tax, including: 
  • $398,000 to the Australian Conservation Foundation for ‘The Climate Project’ which will roll out 2000 Al Gore-style presentations around Australia
  • $271,000 to the Australian Youth Climate Coalition for ‘Power Shift’ conferences in Perth and Brisbane
  • $250,000 to the Climate Institute to raise awareness of price implications of the carbon tax
  • $460,000 to Climate Works Australia to raise awareness of the carbon tax 
“This is a flagrant abuse of taxpayer funds by the Gillard Government to desperately try to change perceptions of their toxic carbon tax,” Senator Birmingham said.
“No amount of taxpayer funded advertising will fool Australians into believing that Labor’s carbon tax is good for them.
“Millions of hard earned taxpayer dollars are being wasted on a failed spin job.
“Worse still, Labor is conveniently using ‘discretionary grants’ to repay groups who have been the loudest supporters of its carbon tax.
“Labor must put an end to this use of taxpayer funds for purely political purposes. Julia Gillard should immediately rule out any more taxpayer money being used to sell her carbon tax.”