O'Farrell demands list of ads in election run-up

Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday January 26, 2011

Alexandra Smith

THE Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, has asked the Premier for a list of all taxpayer-funded advertising the government intends to run from today, including radio and TV scripts, as the first of the caretaker government conventions begins.Mr O'Farrell said he wanted to ensure the government did not break the rules that ban any government ads during the eight weeks before an election.The only government ads that are allowed during the quarantine period are those relating to community health and safety or that provide public information, such as transport news.In a letter sent to Kristina Keneally yesterday, Mr O'Farrell requested a list of all the taxpayer-funded advertising, as well as an outline of how much the government plans to spend and when it will run the ads.Mr O'Farrell said the Coalition could also request "scripts and other explanatory information about the intended advertising".The eight directors of power companies who quit over the government's $5.3 billion sale of energy assets have indicated they will not turn up to the inquiry tomorrow despite legal advice from Bret Walker, SC, that their evidence would have parliamentary privilege.The chairman of the upper house inquiry committee, Fred Nile, said he received a letter yesterday from the legal representatives of the directors explaining they still had concerns about their legal protection if they were to give evidence.

© 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

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