Taxpayers will rightly be angry with the Gillard Government for planning a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to sell them financial pain, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
It follows confirmation from Climate Change Minister Greg Combet that his department is developing options for an advertising campaign.
Mr Combet has told The Australian Online that his department is examining “a number of options for public communications” … “This will involve contact with public relations agencies, as is standard practice,” he said.
The Australian Online, 22 March 2011
“An advertising campaign of this nature can in no way be considered an information campaign given the absence of any actual information,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Firstly, nothing has been legislated and nothing might ever be legislated. Taxpayer funded information campaigns should only deal with what will happen, not what might happen.
“Secondly, the Government has no information to provide – no carbon price or tax rates, no details of compensation, no information on inclusions or exclusions.
“Thirdly, however they try to spin this campaign, even if it’s all about climate change, nothing will change the reality that it is being done at this time purely to prop up Julia Gillard’s flailing and unpopular plans for a carbon tax.
“Julia Gillard clearly plans to use the $30 million set aside for the last shelved campaign, or even more, to help combat the public’s negativity about a carbon tax that before the last election she was very happy to rule out.
“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 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.”