Strengthening public interest in government advertising

p2113-Michael-GunnerLETTER TO THE EDITOR


Sir – The NT Government has today introduced legislative amendments – promised while in Opposition – that will ensure Government money spent on advertisements is done only in the public interest.


Chief Minister Michael Gunner (pictured) promised the changes prior to the August election to stop taxpayers paying for political advertisements after the former CLP Government used public funds to spruik its policies.


“In Opposition we introduced a Private Members Bill and called for then CLP Government to make these changes to ensure taxpayers’ dollars were not spent on political advertisements,” Mr Gunner said.


“They refused. Today I am strengthening the Public Information Act by introducing amendments that will make sure public funds are used appropriately in providing the public with information that does not promote political parties.


“It will ensure that the public interest is at the core of any advertising undertaken by the NT Government.”


Mr Gunner said the Bill will be supported by regulations that will assist government agencies in their compliance and the Auditor-General in determining whether or not public information promotes party political interests.


“The amendments will strengthen and improve the existing legislation and make it clearer to all what is appropriate public information,” Mr Gunner said.


“It will increase accountability and provide the public with confidence that public information is objective and factual, while allowing Government to continue to provide information to the public about programs and policies.”


Cameron Angus

Media Advisor



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