Two weeks ago I wrote for the Punch a piece about Kevin Rudd breaching his election commitment and dumping the Auditor General from the advertising process.

And some say Rudd dug a hole for himself. The Australian's Bill Leak

This was in response to the politically motivated advertising on the so-called health reforms that were launched by Rudd Labor.

However it turns out Kevin Rudd wasn’t satisfied with simply breaking part of his pre election commitments on government advertising; he wanted to go all the way. The advertising campaign for the mining tax was born. 

It is neither a campaign based on legislation, nor on a Bill in Parliament, and it doesn’t advise Australians of a change of government entitlement.  In fact it is an advertising campaign on a tax that isn’t planned to be introduced into Parliament until after the next election.

The advertising campaign was so urgent that it was exempted from the “new” process by a Labor Minister after an application by another Labor Minister.  The basis of the exemption?  Australia is obviously in the middle of a “national emergency”. What a joke.

While Kevin 10 is in fact the same person as Kevin 07, you would be forgiven for failing to recognising them in a line up.

Kevin 07 said that government advertising was a “cancer on our democracy”, promised he would introduce a system whereby in the three months before an election, a ban would be imposed on government advertising unless agreed to by the leader of the opposition. He also said the Auditor General would ‘vet’ all government advertising.

But for Kevin 10, none of this matters. Kevin 10 has a political emergency – sorry – national emergency to deal with.

It is difficult to imagine that this breach could be any more stark. Or stink more.

But wait, there is more.

The government funded mining tax campaign helping Australians to deal with this ‘national emergency’ is being brought to you by the advertising firm, Shannon’s Way.

You have probably seen the television advertising by now, a nerdish professor at the front of the room telling everyone why a great big new tax is good for you and good for the economy.

Shannon’s Way is as Labor family as you get.  They have worked on election campaigns for Labor at State and Federal level for many years.  In addition they have run the political campaigns for the ACTU.

Miraculously, Shannon’s Way has found itself looking after this account dealing with this great big national emergency.

Not only is Kevin 10 using taxpayers’ money to deal with a political problem so big that it could make him the first one-term Prime Minister in 80 years, he is also paying Labor mates to do so.

Kevin 10 is not running an “information campaign” - he is using $38 million in taxpayers’ money to run a political campaign.

Rudd has shredded the last remaining credibility he had. It is not the non-core promises you have to worry about with Kevin Rudd, it is the core promises. This Prime Minister stands for nothing other than winning an election.

Each time you hear Kevin 10 promise in the weeks before the election that it is an “absolute guarantee” all the Australian people will remember is that this is what he has said before.

Labor will run the most expensive union-fuelled scare campaign in history in the coming weeks to try and hold on to office.

But nothing can hide the fact that this is a bad government led by a bad Prime Minister and it should not be returned.

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    • acotrel says:

      07:59am | 10/06/10

      Why is it that the mining companies never mention ‘VALUE ADDING’ when they discuss the proposed tax on profits?  Perhaps they’d get a better deal if they did the secondary processing in Australia?

    • WayneT says:

      10:20am | 10/06/10

      Unfortunetly in this country even if we produced the finished product from the resources we mine, we wouldn’t be able to compete with countries like China, to sell that product overseas.  Most overseas producers wages costs are extremely low compared to Australia.

    • Super D says:

      12:00pm | 10/06/10

      Yep we can add as much value as China so long as we adopt their wage structures and environmental regulations.

      Every time we increase wages or add new regulations we send jobs to countries that don’t adopt the same standards.  I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, just that we should always be aware of what we are doing and the results of the choices we make.

    • dead to me says:

      08:49am | 10/06/10

      So if the whole mining tax falls flat, then the whole proposed buget in reality will not pan out as stated by Swan therefore we are having a government running a ‘banana republic’ type economic strategy. And we still want rudd and swan for the next 4 years?

    • persephone says:

      09:47am | 10/06/10

      No, dead to me.

      If the mining tax doesn’t go ahead, then companies won’t get a tax cut, the simpler tax return system will be dropped, the super contributions will be wound back and there won’t be an infrastructure fund.

      The rest of the budget - including the return to surplus - will go ahead as planned.

      Oh, and Federal terms are 3 years, not 4.

    • Overflow says:

      11:21am | 10/06/10

      Pers, in all your posts you support the introduction of the RSPT as it stands.  Can please explain to everyone why the Government

      did not fully consult with industry before the announcement,

      failed to release the economic modelling used to justify its claims,

      used fairly dubious data from an overseas draft paper to mislead the public about the rate of tax paid

      continue to use misleading data by excluding the amount of company tax paid

      are bringing forward spending from a tax that is yet to exist in order to bribe the electorate

      need to ensure a crowd at a community cabinet meeting are all Labor luvvies to ensure they get good press

      Surely, our government, that rattles on about the national interest can rise above the rhetoric and counter all the so called scare mongering by simply stating the facts.  Or does the truth actually show the govt for the incompetent liars they are?

    • persephone says:

      01:20pm | 10/06/10


      as I’ve shown countless times, the miners knew that a 40% tax was on the cards back in February. I don’t know how they knew this, but presume someone must have discussed it with them, suggesting that consultation of some sort was going on.

      And I’m not sure any government ‘fully consults’ with industry groups before taxing them.

      I don’t know about the details of economic modelling, but again, it’s not uncommon for governments not to release this. Certainly there’s plenty of information available on the economics of this tax, and I’ve not read any economists complaining that they don’t have enough information to form a view.

      I’ve constantly referred to the Treasury note on this subject, which does incorporate the amount of company tax paid, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

      Again, the benefits of the tax were outlined in the budget. Again, it’s not uncommon for a government to point out the benefits of a tax - I seem to recall the GST being promoted as providing the money for a tax cut to personal income rates.

      I’m not aware of any vetting of the crowd. Quite the opposite; from reports I’ve read, it’s quite obvious there were people in there who disagreed with the government. And I haven’t seen any Liberal government - or indeed, Opposition - with the courage to expose themselves to ordinary people and their questions in this way.

      Given that you start from the premise that the government are incompetent liars, I think any efforts spent trying to educate you on the benefits of the tax would be time and money wasted.

    • Randal says:

      02:12pm | 10/06/10

      Which of course Pers would be a huge win for small business, 60% of who are mot incorporated and therefore will receive mo benefit from the cut in company tax, but 100% of whom will be hit by the need to pay many of thousands dollars they cannot afford in additional superannuation.

      Seems to me that killing this tax will be a win for business, superannuation funds, investors, the resources sector, cost of living and ultimately job creation.

      Thanks for helping to make the benefits of not having this Really Stupid Profits Tax made so clear, I really do appreciate it.

    • luke09 says:

      02:46pm | 10/06/10

      persephone, the miners never agreed to a 40% tax rate. You say, when the RSPT was announced it was to go towards returning the budget to surplus, company tax cuts and super increases, now suddenly $4-6 billion of the proceeds from the new tax will be “diverted” to WA and Queensland.(announced by Rudd)

      How can this happen? Another change to a policy, I hope treasury were consulted but I doubt it. Rudd is never true to his word.

    • persephone says:

      04:51pm | 10/06/10


      no suddenly about it, the figures were in the budget papers. The money is being committed as was always intended.


      as usual, you’ve taken my answer out of context - I was correcting d2m’s misunderstanding about the connection between the tax proposal and the surplus.

      I repeat: the tax receipts are allocated to certain projects. If the tax doesn’t come in, the projects won’t happen. Therefore the tax coming in or not has nothing to do with getting back to surplus.

    • Against the Man says:

      05:10pm | 10/06/10

      The super tax is a cover for wasted monies, and having no infrastructure fund is not a good thing and if not guaranteed should not have been mentioned in the budget. Making promises you can’t keep is not good enough at this stage of the game ruddy. And I’d like to see the budget return to surplus but then again we know what a labor/rudd promise is worth.

    • luke09 says:

      12:15pm | 11/06/10

      persephone, the money is not being used as intended before the downfall of Rudd in WA and QLD, I doubt WA would have recieved 1 billion from the 6 billion infrastructure fund. Rudd is only vote buying to save his job.

    • Anthony of WA says:

      08:53am | 10/06/10

      Just look at the hard time Gunns is given trying to get a pulp mill set up in Tasmania and you have your answer why the mining companies would not be intrested in value adding in Australia

    • Andrew says:

      09:54am | 10/06/10

      Fair point. But the Gunns issue is a little different. I don’t think we would have steel makers in Tassie wilderness.

    • Ben says:

      09:19am | 10/06/10

      Perhaps a “National Emergency” exemption should require both political party approval?  Kevin simply forgot that “national does not equal Kevin”.

    • william says:

      10:34am | 10/06/10

      The forthcoming federal election can be reduced to one very simple question voters should ask themselves. ” Can any alternative government be as INCOMPETENT as this Labor Government?”.

    • antiperspirant says:

      11:23am | 10/06/10

      Answer = no, nada, never, uh uh. nope, lol nope, neva. nowai, snicker, *roll eyes*

      You get the picture.

      Drovers dog time imo.

    • Evan Findlay says:

      08:40pm | 10/06/10

      It will simply do as the previous Liberal government did…. nothing. You can’t be accused of incompetency when you don’t actually set out to do anything and achieve even less. Just spend, spend and spend the windfall from the mining boom on baby bonuses, cash splashes, pork barreling and middle class welfare.

    • Super D says:

      12:04pm | 10/06/10

      John Howard and Peter Costello made running the country seem easy and so the nation believed any fool can do it.  We got the fools though now discover a fool can’t do the job.  The federal ALP resembles a dysfunctional state ALP government every day.  I don’t even think the usual ploy of switching to a femal leader to save an election can work this time.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbott was a oncer too.  One thing is for certain, the Howard years are looking better every day.

    • persephone says:

      01:25pm | 10/06/10

      John Howard’s dream Adelaide-Darwin railway was sold at a billion dollar loss only the other day.

      The dental scheme set up by Tony Abbott as Health Minister has turned out to have been rorted by dentists to the tune of $7 million.

      Costello lost millions on currency deals because he was too scared to tinker with something Keating had put in place (which Keating had made clear needed regular reviewing).

      The Howard government, in its first term, saw the sacking of several ministers, the invention of the ‘core’ and ‘non core’ promise and reporters in Washington pretending they had nothing to do with the PM during his visit there, because they saw him as such an embarrassment.

    • Randal says:

      02:36pm | 10/06/10

      Is that it Pers?? 

      11 years of Howard and all you have is a handful of rorting dentists who have been caught, a sale of a railway line following a private company going into administration, scuttlebutt that maybe some people in Washington maybe don’t like Howard, and some obscure reference to losses on the currency market.

      Now compare that to $8 billion wasted on the Building Rorts and the lethal insulation programs, not to mention the burned houses, 6000 job losses and the death of 4 innocent workers.

      The failure of the Green Loans, Fuel Watch, Grocery Watch, Climate Change etc… etc…

      And not a Minister sacked, unlike Howard as you rightly pointed out, who acted immediately to remove a Minister who was unable or incapable of performing, lucky for Garrett he was not a Minister under Howard, how long do you think incompetence of that magnitude would have lasted Pers??

      Add to that a national government debt fast approaching 150 billion and a budget with an imaginary surplus.

      Now we have the Really Stupid Profits Tax that threatens the only industry that is keeping Australia’s head above the global economic quagmire.

      All that in just 3 years, imagine the pages we could fill in another 8, and thank you again for reminding us of the success of the Howard government and the absolute colossal failure we have in now by comparison.

      Let’s hope the electorate is awake to these things as your are Pers, by the look of the polls they seem to be right on the money.

    • Super D says:

      02:42pm | 10/06/10

      Better to blow a billion dollars on a north-south railway than on installing then uninstalling roofing insulation…..

    • Evan Findlay says:

      08:44pm | 10/06/10

      Not to mention that Costello sold off 40% of our gold reserves at $385 an ounce arguing that gold no longer represented a viable commodity that countries could hold in large reserves. NFI.  He was a policy bum and when he did make decisions he proved that he could understand basic economics and was to stupid to implement reform.

    • Anthony of Wa says:

      11:59pm | 10/06/10

      Persphone, the problem now, I suppose is the lost millions is now billions

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      12:12pm | 10/06/10

      Under Liberals and Labor, Australia has no future. Neither has vision, neither willing to make the hard decisions. At least Labor made the mining corporations squeal a bit. Liberals just say yes, sir, can I lick your boots?

    • ian forrest says:

      12:27pm | 10/06/10

      I am just amazed after reading some of the comments of so many of the bloggers on the Age site. They must be in cloud cuckoo land re the RSPT like our PM. Miner can spend up to 10 years on a development no money coming just millions spent on infrastructure and wages before they even see a profit and the more money they make the more tax they pay in royalties and income tax. And then if they make a lousy 6 percent return in a year their tax above that gets a 40 percent super tax. How can anybody consider 6 percent a super profit after years of spending and getting no return for the company or its investors?  And don’t forget anyone of you who has super is more than likely a share holder so your getting some of the profit of successful mines. But that will no doubt decrease if this panic driven stupidity gets through in its current form. And how they can this not impact on the Nation as a whole, read some articles in the news from around the World and then tell me the RSPR doesn’t equal stupidity.

    • thinktank says:

      02:32pm | 10/06/10

      The first half of this post was just regurgitating the debating points that we’ve heard over and over again during the past 2 weeks.  We know all that already.  You should have focused more on the new information, as given in the title, which is the recipient of the $38m.

      First Bronnie, now you - if you need my help with your media strategy just ask grin

    • Red Neck says:

      02:40pm | 10/06/10

      Mr. Briggs- you and your conservative liberal mates are a disgrace to Aust.for supporting the massively wealthy mining industry against we ordinary Aussies..What they are taking from this country can never be returned!! They are the real rip off merchants…

    • cam says:

      10:31pm | 12/06/10

      The Australian economy is the envy of the rest of the world, it really is, I travel and I speak with lots of people all over the world and they envy us…big time. The mining industry over the last 20 years, particularly the last 10, has largely provided our country with this platform of wealth. In reality, any Federal government should have this country in the black. The money will continue to roll in to this place irrespective of who’s in power. The question we should all ask ourselves is this. Which party will spend our money the more wisely ? The ALP’s record in this area is, unfortunately for ALP voters, very poor when compared to the coalition. Rudd may very well be a one term PM.


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