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Government sets up operation shonk.

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Media Release


Senator John Faulkner

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Public Administration,

Government Services & Territories




The Opposition has been informed that the Government is setting up a massive propaganda operation in Canberra and Sydney to sell its GST proposal, Shadow Minister for Public Administration Senator John Faulkner said today.


“We believe the Canberra call centre will be staffed by 60 public servants from Centrelink, Treasury, the Tax Office and other public service departments.


“These public servants have been invited to volunteer for a project which has been described to them as “extremely sensitive and confidential”. They will be brought to Canberra on Friday this week for what we understand will be a 2 day training course. The training will take place at Computer Associates House at 10 National Circuit.”


The operation will begin on Monday 17 August and run for 3-4 weeks. It is being set up exclusively to sell the GST package and will be disbanded when the operation is over. Participants have not been informed of the location of the call centre.


“If this information is accurate - and we have no reason to disbelieve it then this has to be the ultimate Operation Shonk,” Senator Faulkner said.


“Here we have Peter Costello and John Howard setting up a clandestine operation to use public servants to do tele-marketing for a Liberal Party election promise.


“It’s an utter abuse of the apolitical public service. A shameless misuse of public monies for party political purposes. This comes on top of the government’s planned 10 million dollar, taxpayer-funded, GST advertising campaign,” Senator Faulkner said.


COMMENT: Colin Campbell 0419 634 919 / 6277 3233

August 12 1998