Saturday, 27 December 2014

Big bucks for bad deal

Story from today's Age

The more than half a million dollars spent on market research for the government's advertising campaign spruiking its university fee changes is a cost Labor's higher education spokesman Kim Carr claims he would never bear.

"When I was minister for higher education ... I never once initiated advertisements, public advertisements, to try to persuade the Australian people that somehow or another, a lie was good for them. And that's what this government is doing," he said today

Carr went on to say “No amount of money, no amount of spin, will change the fact that Australians will never accept the idea that your education depends upon how much you can pay,” 

“No amount of government-funded advertising, publicly-funded advertising will change the Australian people’s attitude.”Carr said the unfair higher education measures were never promised by the government.“In fact, they said exactly the opposite before the election,” he said.The government ( tax payers) has paid out over $350 000 to research company Orima Research to conduct focus groups on the higher education changes, while the same company had already received $163,000 to conduct "market research on the level of awareness and understanding of the Higher Education System" between October and December.Expert in political marketing from the Australian National University, Dr Andrew Hughes, said he was shocked at the spending.A spokesman for Education Minister Pyne defended the cash splash, saying the Department of Education had picked up a "consistent lack of understanding of Australia's current higher education system"...yeah sure. I've seen the advertisements and they're a waste of money, money that should have gone toward paying the states the Gonski money they were promised.

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