How blatant was this!
Today, we're launching a new campaign – and I wanted you to be the first to see it. The message is pretty simple.— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) April 13, 2019
Victorians are sick and tired of being ripped off by Canberra. pic.twitter.com/1zYaCKN1lu
But in Victoria all we get is finger-wagging and stern words from the anti-corruption watchdogs-without-teeth.
Daniel Andrews' $1.7 million spend backing Bill Shorten in the federal election has been condemned by both Victoria's corruption watchdog and the state Ombudsman.
The state government spent about $1.7 million on an "Our Fair Share" advertising campaign at the federal election, accusing "Canberra" of slashing hospital funding.
The television, radio and online ad campaign was slammed by the Victorian Opposition which argued taxpayer funds should not be used for political advertisements.
The Opposition lodged complaints with the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Victorian Ombudsman.
"However, we consider that the timing and content of the campaign advertisements would have had the effect of influencing public sentiment against the government of the commonwealth," they said.
A joint letter from Ombudsman Deborah Glass and IBAC commissioner Robert Redlich, QC, said the public perception of Labor’s campaign would be at odds with laws requiring taxpayer-funded advertising not be used for political advantage.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said the Premier has been called out over the campaign and told him to change the law so it could not be repeated.
"The Andrews government’s ad campaign was a partisan use of taxpayer funds designed to attack the federal Coalition and help Bill Shorten," he said.
"Premier Andrews must immediately commit to changing the law as stated by IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman to prevent further disgraceful abuses of taxpayer money on partisan political campaigns."
A government spokesman dismissed the opposition’s complaint, saying it was a "desperate stunt", which had been shown by the findings of IBAC and the Ombudsman.