The Queensland treasurer hasn’t ruled out a taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to sell next week’s state budget.
The Queensland treasurer says he’s open to spending even more taxpayer dollars on advertising, this time to sell his budget.
Tim Nicholls hasn’t ruled out a publicly funded advertising blitz to sell next week’s budget, the last before the next state election.
The June 3 budget is expected to detail the government’s decision on whether public assets should be sold or leased.
The government has spent $6 million of taxpayers’ money on its Strong Choices campaign, which asked Queenslanders if they’d prefer higher taxes, reduced services or asset sales to help pay down $80 billion in debt.
Mr Nicholls said people had appreciated being informed about the state’s debt problem, and would also appreciate understanding the solution.
“I’m open to using all means available to ensure people do understand what the budget means for them,” Mr Nicholls told reporters on Tuesday.
The government’s code of conduct bans advertising in the six months before a scheduled election unless it’s aimed at an urgent emerging issue.
But up until that six-month period kicks in, the government would be at liberty to use taxpayers money for an ad campaign.
“We will comply with the rules that have been put in place, unlike our predecessors who continued advertising right up to the election.”
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer said any taxpayer-funded sell job would be nothing short of robbery, designed to get the LNP re-elected in Queensland.
“That would be a disgrace and a waste of taxpayers’ money,” the federal MP told AAP on Tuesday.
“Queenslanders will backlash over this agenda-driven act.”
The Labor Opposition said the LNP was rich enough to promote itself.
“The LNP should spend some of its $30 million donation war chest on their political advertising, not taxpayer funds,” shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt told AAP.