The State Liberals have written to the Auditor General seeking an urgent investigation into Premier Weatherill’s use of taxpayer funds for political advertising.
Mr Weatherill has recently commenced distribution of a 12-page glossy colour booklet highlighting the Adelaide Oval and the Government’s role in this project.
This booklet is a clear breach of the Government’s own rules controlling government advertising as it features prominently a photo of Mr Weatherill together with his introduction.
The rules outlined in ‘Marketing Communication and Advertising Guidelines’ make it clear that “Public funds should not be used for communications when … the image or voice of a politician is included within the advertisement.”
“This is yet another example of Mr Weatherill blatantly breaching his own Government’s advertising rules,” said Mr Lucas.
“It follows a recent example where a glossy colour 20-page booklet on the Riverbank was inserted into The Advertiser. That booklet also included a photograph of Mr Weatherill together with his introduction – yet another clear breach of his own guidelines.”
Simon O’Neill, the Auditor General, has already agreed to investigate the Riverbank booklet breach after he was questioned at the most recent Budget and Finance Committee meeting.
Hon R Lucas: “If that’s the case, the Riverbank insertion full colour glossy into The Advertiser, which has a photograph of the Premier, Jay Weatherill, on the surface of it, would that not be in contravention of the government’s own government advertising guidelines?
Mr S O’Neill: “I would like to have a look at that.”
“The State Liberals will now write to the Auditor General to consider urgently this further flagrant breach of the guidelines,” said Mr Lucas.
“Mr Weatherill should also now reveal publicly the total costs, including production and distribution of the Riverbank booklet as well as for the Adelaide Oval booklet.
“This is just a massive waste of taxpayers’ money intended to help Mr Weatherill’s re-election prospects at a time when he is cutting essential services such as the paediatric ward at Modbury Hospital.
“South Australians deserve a Government with better priorities to put our state back on track.”