Here we Joh again! Newman to spend $20m in pre-election ad blitz

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The Campbell Newman LNP Government’s own figures and statements show it is set to spend nearly $20 million of Queensland taxpayers' money on advertising between November this year and the election.

And one of its own websites shows it spent 20 per cent more on advertising in the year to June 30 this year than was spent in 2011/12 financial year.

The amount for the year ending 30 June 2012 according to the Queensland Government website was $30,287,825.

That would have included the last eight months of spending by the Bligh Government, which the LNP described as excessive.

But according to the same government website, the Newman Government spent $6 million more than this in 2013/14.

The $36,831,579 includes $13,470,337 by Treasury which is responsible for the Strong Choices campaign trying to persuade us that getting rid of our assets is a good idea.

When it comes to current advertising spending. let’s take the premier at his word when he told Parliament on 25 November this year:

“I make the point that we have spent 20 per cent less. We are on track to do that. To give you a feel for that, over the past 31 months the current administration that I proudly lead has spent $67.37 million.

“That is compared to $99.14 million spent by the previous administration in the first 31 months of its parliamentary term.”

He then said the Bligh Government had spent another $9.177 million dollars in its last three months. That results in a total spend of $108,317,000.

It is important to note that he said the Government was on track to spend 20 per cent less on advertising than the Bligh Government. He would have chosen his words carefully.

His target is 20 per cent less than $108,317,000, which is $86,653,600.

He says his Government spent $67.37 million in his first 31 months, which would suggest that is for the period ending on October 31. This means he is intending to spend up to $19,283,600 of taxpayers’ money on election advertisements between November and March next year, when the election is due.

That’s $4.8 million dollars a month, if the advertising finishes at the end of February.

Another slant on the Government’s advertising spend is provided by the industry.

The advertising magazine B&T reported in March 2012:

'The Queensland government spent an estimated $65.7m between January and December last year, according to Nielsen, up 42% on 2010’s spend. According to reports, Newman plans to cut spending on consultants, travel and advertising by 20%.'

But in March this year, in a report on the nation’s biggest advertisers of 2013, AdNews reported:

'Another stand-out spender was the Queensland Government. Despite ongoing reports of state Premier Campbell Newman's strict cutbacks, the state's government rose from 25th position to 12th, increasing spend almost 40% to $63.1m.'

You might notice that the $63.1 million reportedly spent by the Newman Government is not 20 per cent less than the $65.7 million reportedly spent by the Bligh Government.

The trick used by the Newman Government to build its massive $4.8-million-a-month advertising blitz in the lead up to the election was to be extremely frugal in 2012/13 when it only spent, according to its official figures, $14,477,074.

So now we are being bombarded with ads costing more than $1 million a week, persuading us that we need to get rid of our assets; that everyone will get an operation on time, when the waiting list to get on the waiting list has almost doubled to 411,000; improved services, such as health, education and law and order; access to government services (one ad that says there are 146 new online services, another says 160); it’s time to see your GP; teenage driving; fitness; and age ... enough, enough!

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