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Labor's big spend on web site self-promotion.



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Thu, 5th February 2009

LABOR'S BIG SPEND ON WEB SITE SELF-PROMOTION

Senator the Hon Nick Minchin Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

In its first eight months the Rudd Labor Government created 36 new websites to promote itself at a cost of more than $1.1 million, Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Nick Minchin said.

The figures have been revealed in a response to questions on notice from Senator Minchin. The new websites were created between 18 December 2007 and 27 August 2008.

The most expensive web sites created include: $255,000 for a DVA commemorations web site.

$180,000 to communicate developments in accounting standard setting.

$141,358 for a site to promote the National Portrait Gallery collections and activities.

$118,332 for the Grocery Choice web site to provide super market pricing information.

$98,000 DVA site to promote the Defence loan subsidy initiative.

$43,500 for an ATO tax issues web site.

Senator Minchin said without doubt other websites would have been created or renovated since last August to promote the activities of the Rudd Government.

“While Governments have a responsibility to provide up-to-date information to the Australian public and the internet is an effective way of doing this, the costs associated with some of these individual sites seem to be quite extraordinary,” he said.

Web sites were also created to support the inquiry into the Mohamed Haneef case, to support the Minister for Home Affairs, to provide information on the so-called ‘digital education revolution’, to support Senator Faulkner, to support the delivery of the Australian Government’s Enterprise Connect initiative, to promote the Australia 2020 Summit and to report on the effectiveness of Australian aid.

“These figures add weight to the view that the Rudd Government places style and image above all else. It has an obsession with self-promotion and will do anything to give the impression that it is doing things, when the reality is there is not a great deal of substance behind many of its ideas,” Senator Minchin said.

“You could put things like the 2020 Summit, Grocery Choice and its ill-fated Fuel Watch, into that category, which would have seen $20 million spent on little more than a web site.”