The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:41): I am going to talk about government waste by Premier Weatherill in his own department. I will give a small example firstly and then a more significant one. A small example brought to my attention by officers within his own department is a decision that he and his chief executive officer have taken recently to change the wallpaper on all the computers that DPC staff have.
What they have instituted is a new wallpaper for all their staff compulsorily, which has the Premier’s seven strategic directions, so that every time the computer fades to the wallpaper the Premier’s seven strategic directions will flash in front of you rather than whatever individual public servants might have had—family or serenity, or whatever it is. The indoctrination and the spin continue.
You cannot escape it; there will be the Premier’s seven strategic directions on the computer screen in front of them. They had some problems instituting this, and the IT experts had to be brought in evidently at additional expense and cost to ensure that all public servants were to be subjected to the same degree of indoctrination by the Premier and the department.
The second example is the massive waste of $2 million on this Fight for the Murray campaign. There are government guidelines, as you know; we will look at the cost of it through budget and finance at a later stage. The government, as a result of criticisms in the past and a select committee inquiry, issued guidelines in 2011 on marketing, communications and advertising, which made it quite clear that the government would not use politicians, premiers or ministers as part of television and radio commercials and other marketing communications, such as posters.
This particular document makes it quite clear that these guidelines cover digital advertising, such as banner advertising, viral search, video streaming and social media, and that it covers websites and direct mail as well. These guidelines also state on page 7:
Public funds should not be used for communications where the image or voice of a politician is included within the advertising and the party in government is mentioned by name.
In relation to the Fight for the Murray campaign, I might also note that anyone who has travelled up Rundle Mall in recent weeks would have seen the massive waste of money in terms of the number of staff who were obviously looking after that display in Rundle Mall, where people were on exercise machines. What significance the exercise machines had to the Fight for the Murray campaign, I was at a complete loss, and I think most other people were as well. Nevertheless, it was advertising the government’s Fight for the Murray campaign, evidently.
If you sign up for this Fight for the Murray campaign, you get an automatic email from the Premier himself thanking you for the campaign, urging you to sign up family and friends, urging you to visit the websites and various other things as well. Time does not permit me to go through that personal email from the Premier, no less, to anyone who signs up for the Fight for the Murray campaign.
Then you are referred to videos, which have been uploaded. In particular, there are two videos, one Fight for the Murray, with Premier Jay Weatherill starring in the Fight for the Murray video and another one with the Hon. Paul Caica starring in the video Fight for the Murray as well. Those videos which feature ministers seeking support, obviously, for their political views on this issue are in clear breach of the government’s own marketing, communications and advertising guidelines. They are in clear breach of promises and commitments given by the former premier and this Premier that ministers, premiers and politicians would not be used as part of government advertising campaigns and guidelines.
Here we have this Premier, who says he is interested in transparency and accountability, clearly breaching his own government’s guidelines in a grotesque way as part of this $2 million advertising campaign in terms of the Fight for the Murray. This is an issue that should be pursued in various parliamentary committees and other fora and publicly as well, and the Premier himself needs to justify his own breach of the government’s advertising guidelines.