Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has finally revealed the full cost and extent of the Rudd Government’s “Think Climate. Think Change” advertising campaign, 6 months after it began and one month late.
The details of the campaign have been revealed today in an answer to a Senate Estimates question placed on notice by Senator Mitch Fifield.
The full budget allocated to the campaign has been revealed to be $13.951 million.
“This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer’s money to run a very extensive campaign that offered no detail or explanation of what the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will look like nor what impact it will have on the everyday lives of Australians,” Senator Fifield said today.
“Struggling families and pensioners will not welcome today’s revelation that so much of their money has been wasted on spin and PR.
“Even readers of FHM, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Day couldn’t escape these advertisements.”
Senator Fifield also said that the campaign reveals the hypocrisy of Senator Wong and the Rudd Government.
On 21 June 2007, Senator Wong criticised the former government’s advertising in the Senate:
“There will be no Australian living room that will be safe from the Howard government’s advertising, all funded courtesy of the Australian taxpayer.” (Hansard, 21/7/2007)
“Yet in an act of gross hypocrisy, Senator Wong is responsible for placing her government’s climate change PR campaign in just about every newspaper and magazine and on every television and radio in Australia,” Senator Fifield said.
“What’s more, Senator Wong has deliberately kept the cost of the campaign quiet. She’s now finally released the details in the summer holidays hoping that no one will notice.
“There is a legitimate role for government advertising when it explains the impacts of major and complex policy changes to the Australian public.
“But the ‘Think Climate. Think Change’ campaign is nothing more than a slick PR exercise for the Rudd Government. Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for something clearly designed as a booster for Labor’s poll numbers.
“It is yet more evidence that the Rudd Government is more interested in State Labor Government style spin over policy substance.”