Campaigner . . . Morris Iemma Labor advertising board during the last election
Campaigner . . . Morris Iemma Labor advertising board during the last election

We've ad enough!

COFFS Harbour state MP Andrew Fraser has slammed the Iemma Labor Government for spending more than $111 million on advertising when the funds could have provided more nurses, police officers and teachers for country NSW.

"The Iemma Government's advertising bill is appalling," claimed Mr Fraser to the Advocate yesterday.

"A report on Government spending has revealed it used more than $111 million on advertising in the last financial year, with an increase in spending in the lead up to the March state election.

"$81.5 million was spent on election campaign advertising which would have been far better used to improve services and infrastructure in rural and regional NSW," said Mr Fraser.

"Country people have every right to be furious. While they're forced to put up with second-rate health services, under resourced police stations and dilapidated schools, Labor is spending millions of taxpayers' dollars on electioneering."

Mr Fraser also claimed if spent more responsibly, Labor's $81 million could have paid for:

n An extra 750 general duties police officers or 586 police highway patrol officers, or

n An additional 1240 nurses in country hospitals, or

n Up to as many as 1300 public school teachers, or

n Clearing the maintenance backlog in country schools.

"When services in country areas are second rate it's outrageous that Labor is prepared to spend millions of taxpayers' dollars on advertising," Mr Fraser said.

"The money could have also gone towards further drought assistance for the State's farmers. With more than 75 per cent of NSW still drought declared, primary producers need reassurance they'll continue to receive support.

"There are countless other things Labor could have used this funding for, including installing flashing lights at school zones in country NSW, much needed upgrades to the Pacific Highway or reducing dental waiting lists.

"This report shows a continued misuse of taxpayer funds by Labor and makes clear where Morris Iemma's priorities lie.

"The Premier is happy to spend millions of dollars trying to get himself re-elected while country people are forced to go without."



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