Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 December 2008) . . Page.. 339 ..
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker. The Chief Minister is responsible for whole-of-government administration, including government advertising or promotional activity. The question is asking him for an explanation of what would be the impact of not permitting those types of promotional activities in government advertising. It is clearly within his portfolio responsibilities.
Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I don’t dispute that it is within his portfolio responsibilities. I am disputing that the tenor of the question is asking the Chief Minister for the expression of an opinion.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, there is no point of order. The Chief Minister has been asked about the implications, and I am sure he will answer the question in a directly relevant manner.
MR STANHOPE: I certainly will, Mr Speaker, as I always do. I think that all members would have been struck starkly by a road safety advertisement in yesterday’s Canberra Times that was placed by the ACT government. It went, “If you speed, it’s over. If you drink and drive, it’s over. If you drive when tired, it’s over. Canberra to the coast and back. Don’t go over.” It is a wonderful advertisement. I must say that I was struck by how effective it was.
But I must say—I don’t know about anyone else in the chamber—that when I read those words in the Canberra Times yesterday, in addition to being struck by how effective they were, it was clear to me that the subliminal message was clear; it was stark. The subliminal message was: vote 1, Jon Stanhope. How about an advertisement in today’s paper, which was a call for Canberrans to lead healthier and more physical lives. It was there today: “Find thirty. It’s not a big exercise.”—
Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker. You specifically asked the Chief Minister—
MR STANHOPE: What it says to me quite clearly is “vote for Katy Gallagher”.
MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, resume your seat.
Mrs Dunne: You did specifically ask the Chief Minister to answer this in a directly relevant way. I submit that what he considers might be the subliminal messages of particular advertisements in the paper is not directly answering the question.
MR STANHOPE: It was about the implications. It is clearly relevant.
MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, come to the point, thank you.
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will. I just conclude on this other example of what the impact is. How about this advertisement, which was run recently urging Canberrans to sign up to Greenchoice—something that you have done, Mr Speaker. It might be that you responded directly to this ad. “It costs a few cents more but what’s the earth worth,” it says. I have to say this, Mr Speaker: have you ever heard of a more blatantly political ad? That would top the list. Shame, Simon Corbell, shame!