Taxpayers have forked out millions of dollars on a hefty media services contract which included spruiking the government’s much vaunted “recovery plan”.
Disclosures have revealed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s department splashed $4.69 million on the contract, which was entered into on August 16 – just 11 weeks out from the October 31 election.
According to the disclosure, the contract was for media services for “public health messaging and to inform Queenslanders of the State’s recovery plan”.
The LNP’s integrity in government spokeswoman Fiona Simpson has seized on the figures to claim the government’s “obsession with wasting taxpayers’ money” has reached a “shocking new low”.
But a government spokesman has defended the spend and insisted all advertising was out of market prior to the beginning of the caretaker period.
“Public messaging has been essential in combating the pandemic and part of Queensland’s success in controlling its spread,” he said.
“Queensland’s health response and its economic response are equally important.
“Messaging about the economic recovery included information about financial help for small business so that they could keep their doors open and people employed.”
Ms Simpson hit out at the government, accusing them of blowing “your money for their gain”.
“I will be relentless in the pursuit of transparency, because Queenslanders deserve to know how this government treats their money,” she said.
The government spokesman said all campaigns met requirements of the marketing and communication code of conduct and were approved by the government advertising and communication committee.
Another contract on the disclosure log from July was for a $53,798 spend on “media services” for print media to “inform Queenslanders on the plan for economic recovery”.
Another contract from July, worth more than half a million dollars, was for another “media services” spend across print, radio and digital about the stage 3 easing of restrictions.
On July 16, the Premier’s department spent $541,319 on a contract for a television campaign about reminding Queenslanders to “remain vigilant and continue social distancing”.