As of October 2012, Federal Government departments and the NBN Co had spent $37 million advertising the National Broadband Network (NBN). A further $15 million is set to be spent between then and June 2013.
The announcement last week of the Federal Opposition’s alternative NBN policy saw a wave of free media and opinions, which would have been hard for anyone with their eyes and ears open to miss. Yet, during all of this free publicity, a bombardment of NBN Co advertisements started to appear on free-to-air television stations.
‘Designed to meet your needs’ is the title of one such Federal Government funded NBN ad, included above. It explains the current Federal Government’s NBN plans, points out why copper wiring is old technology and shows how the increased speeds will benefit the average Australian.
The latest Fairfax/Nielsen poll shows Labor’s primary vote has slipped to 29 per cent compared to the Coalition’s 49 per cent. The same poll revealed that 63 per cent of Australians preferred Labor’s NBN policy.
Read more from Northern Weekly.
Read more from the Financial Review.
Australian governments at both a state and federal level have been using taxpayer money to push party policies for years and the current round of NBN advertisements, approved and funded by the Federal Labor Government, is no different. I would like to start by disclosing that I voted for the Coalition at the last two elections, but believe that Labor’s NBN solution is the better option of the two.
As a taxpayer, I am disgusted to see Labor spending the nation’s money advertising the NBN on free-to-air television. The Coalition holds an almost unprecedented two-party preferred lead just six months out from the Federal Election and have shorter odds to win than Black Caviar had on the weekend.
While we knew for a long time that the Coalition had opposed the current NBN, and that they would be releasing their own plans, last week’s announcement saw significant differences in policy to what is currently being implemented around Australia.
The Coalition’s NBN plans were savaged by the media, the Federal Labor Party and even our very own Kaye Fallick last week for being a lemon. Yet the policy did not see a decline in the Liberal poll numbers – in fact it had the opposite effect.
It seems as though Labor is trying to seize the moment with one of its most popular policies by pushing public money into promoting the NBN. Legally, the advertisements can be put on air, but ethically, should this be happening?
By the time the 2013 election rolls around, less than 1.5 per cent of the Australian population will have the NBN connected to their homes and, if the current uptake trends continue, there will be less than 0.5 per cent of the population using the NBN.
The Federal Government cannot justify spending another cent of taxpayer money to advertise a product that which will not exist in seven months’ time.
Are you outraged at how much is being spent on advertising the NBN?