Steve Bracks, premier of Victoria, Australia, has been using TV, radio and newspaper advertising to communicate his government’s policies and practices relating to the chronic drought experienced in Australia over the last four years. However his use of government funding to make those ads is drawing fire from opposition leader, Ted Baillieu.
Baillieu has laid a complaint with Victoria’s auditor-general, saying the campaign ignored the Government guideline that public funds should not be used on advertising where “members of the government are named, depicted or otherwise promoted in a manner that a reasonable person would regard as excessive or gratuitous”.
Government spokeswoman Alison Crosweller defended the campaign: “Water is one of the highest issues of concern to Victorians and when major decisions are made regarding Victoria’s water supply it is entirely appropriate, as the Auditor-General has previously stated, that the Premier fronts campaigns to inform people about these changes and their likely impact on the state.”
The Auditor-General, whose September report to Parliament criticised the Bracks Government for repeatedly breaching its own guidelines, is expected to decide within a month whether to formally investigate the water campaign.