RICHARD WILLINGHAM April 04, 2012
THE federal government spent $68 million on advertising campaigns in the second half of 2011, including more than $16 million on promoting the carbon price, a new government report shows.
The Campaign Advertising by Australian Government Departments and Agencies half year report details media expenditure for campaigns that cost more than $250,000 from July 1 to December 31 last year.
Over the six months $68.4 million was spent on media with $31.2 million spent on TV placements, $12.9 million on the press, $12.9 million on radio and $8.1 million in the Digital media.
Campaign spending on the carbon tax was the largest expense at $16.8 million; $7.9 million was spent on TV advertisements, $4.1 million on press commercials and $3.8 million on radio.
''The aim of the campaign was to inform Australians about the context and objectives of the Government's climate policies, including a carbon price, and how these policies would affect them,'' the report says.
''The campaign ran until 11 September 2011, and included television, radio, newspaper and online advertising in addition to a household mail out. During the period, $16.8 million was spent on media placement.''
Non-english carbon tax advertising cost $500,000 with a further $300,000 spent on indigenous media.
The overall media spend there was $2.8 million on non-English media and $1 million on Indigenous media.
Education on the 2011 Census cost taxpayers $10.7 million, with an even spread across the three major mediums.
The on-going defence force recruiting campaign cost $8.1 million, with more than half spent on TV ads, while the campaign to reduce the number of people smoking was worth $5.4 million — $3.9 million on TV ads alone.
More than $5 million was spent on the government's banking reform project.
The total expenditure on government advertising in 2011 was $148.7 million.
Acting Special Minister of State Penny Wong said the six-monthly reports were an important tool that reflected the government's commitment to transparency and accountability in the use of taxpayers' dollars.
''The increase in expenditure on 2010 ($112.8 million) can be attributed to the $10.7 million advertising spend on the five-yearly Census and on increased health campaigns to combat obesity and smoking,'' Senator Wong said.
She said the report confirmed advertising expenditure was significantly less under Labor than the level of spending seen under the Howard government.
''For the fourth year in a row, the government has spent over $100 million less per year than the Howard Government's advertising spend of $254 million in 2007,'' Senator Wong said.
The opposition's acting environment spokesman Simon Birmingham said ''enough is enough'' in regards to taxpayer funded advertising of the carbon tax.
"At a time when Australians are being told that Labor is making difficult decisions to return the budget to surplus they should surely embrace an easy decision, which is to axe the carbon tax ads,'' the senator said.
"Julia Gillard should immediately rule out spending one more dollar of taxpayer money on pointless ads, mailouts or glossy brochures to sell her deeply unpopular carbon tax."
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