Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brumby's million-dollar promotion

A MILLION dollars of taxpayer money that could be spent boosting Melbourne's struggling transport network will instead be spent spruiking the Government's credentials on transport in a new television campaign.

The four-week television blitz started on Sunday night with the entire media campaign to last up to a year.

The ad, which says the Government is "delivering on our plans to meet the state's growing transport needs and with many initiatives now under way the signs of an improving transport system can now be seen", has been attacked by the Opposition as a waste of valuable transport dollars.

"Motorists and public transport users alike who are paying more, getting less and travelling more slowly under John Brumby will not be deceived by this expensive, meaningless drivel," Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said.

"Minister for Public Transport Lynne Kosky had to stop her expensive myki smartcard TV ads from going to air because myki is at least three years late," he said.

The Age reported in June that a $400,000 taxpayer-funded advertisement campaign for the troubled myki smartcard had been sitting on the shelf for almost a year because of delays introducing the new technology.

Mr Mulder said the advertising money should be spent "on further car parking spaces at a railway station in Melbourne's outer suburbs - not on self-promotion".

Department of Transport spokesman Chris Veraa said the new advertising campaign was to "inform the public of transport projects currently under way".

He said that while the "full budget for the campaign has not yet been determined", public information about transport projects "will be distributed as required, based on the timing and schedule of works".

"Based on current projections, about $1 million could be spent on this campaign over the next 12 months," Mr Veraa said.

A spokesman for the State Government said it was important for it "to communicate to the people of Victoria about the infrastructure projects currently under way to meet the growing demands of our transport network"...

Read the rest of the article at TheAge.com.au

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