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Approval of exemption from Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns by Australian Government Departments and Agencies.



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Media Release

29/2010 28 May 2010

Approval of exemption from Guidelines on Information and Advertising campaigns by Australian Government Departments and Agencies

The Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, today tabled a statement in Parliament, approving an exemption from the Guidelines on Information and Advertising Campaigns by Australian Government Departments and Agencies for a campaign on tax reform.

The Rudd Government is committed to transparency and accountability in the campaign advertising framework. The Government tabled the approval of the exemption this morning in the Senate as part of that commitment.

The Campaign Advertising Guidelines allow the Cabinet Secretary to exempt campaigns for different reasons, including extreme urgency or other compelling reason.

Senator Ludwig said “I have accepted the Treasurer’s advice that there is an active campaign of misinformation about the proposed changes to our tax system, and that Australians are concerned about how these changes will affect them. The community has expressed a very clear desire to know more about the reforms to our tax system and it’s important to provide that information.”

“I have also accepted the Treasurer’s advice that, as the tax reforms involve changes to the value of some capital assets, they impact on financial markets”, Cabinet Secretary, Joe Ludwig said today.

“In granting the exemption, Treasury was directed to adhere to the intent of the Guidelines, in particular principle 3, that the campaign materials should be objective and not directed at promoting party political interests.”

“The cost of this communications campaign was clearly and publicly announced in the budget papers. This decision does not in any way affect the size or nature of the campaign being conducted by the Treasury in relation to tax reform.”

Nothing in this exemption limits the requirements on Treasury officials to comply with obligations under the Financial Management Accountability Act, the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and other aspects of the advertising framework, including the usual procurement process.

Media Contact: Website:

Anika Wells - 0434 568 993 www.cabinetsecretary.gov.au

www.smos.gov.au