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Hockey puts ' A different light' on the same old political game.



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KERRY O'BRIEN LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR RECONCILIATION AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TOURISM, REGIONAL SERVICES AND TERRITORIES

27 September 2004

HOCKEY PUTS 'A DIFFERENT LIGHT' ON THE SAME OLD POLITICAL GAME

Tourism Minister Joe Hockey must take full responsibility for the clear non-performance of Australia's new 'in a different light' international tourism marketing campaign, and explain why he ignored an offer from the NSW Government that would have made the campaign less costly and more effective.

The $360 million campaign is failing in key markets, including the United States, because the advertisements don't contain enough recognisable tourism product.

But rather than acknowledge this failure, Mr Hockey has sought to score political points against the NSW Government.

Earlier this year NSW Tourism Minister Sandra Nori commissioned advertisements for a successful international marketing campaign for Sydney and offered to share commercial production costs and concepts with the Howard Government.

Mr Hockey refused to collaborate with NSW and paid around $3.5 million to have his own advertisements produced.

The failure of the campaign, and costs associated with salvaging it, are a product of this junior Minister's inability to cooperate with state and territory Ministers.

The 'in a different light' campaign was launched at a $275,000 taxpayer funded party thrown by Mr Hockey.

Having associated himself with the campaign from its inception, Mr Hockey must not now hide from its failure like he did from his HIH responsibilities.

What went wrong, Joe? And how much is it going to cost to fix up your mess?

The Australian tourism industry and long suffering taxpayers deserve an answer.

For Comment: Kerry O’Brien 0419 007 780

Paul Kindermann 0414 956 455