Slogan seen as broad call by Barnett
The WA Opposition has accused the government of putting a campaign logo on normal capital works, in order to look like it has achieved something.
The Barnett Government in WA launched the taxpayer-funded Bigger Picture campaign on 2012, which features a logo that has been used in the promotions of projects such as Elizabeth Quay, the new Perth Stadium and Fiona Stanley Hospital.
The Opposition says the Bigger Picture advertising is placed on projects that any government would have undertaken as a part of normal infrastructure planning and maintenance, and is essentially a publicly funded political campaign.
An Opposition spokesperson said over the weekend that the state’s auditor-general has been called on to review it.
Fresh criticism was sparked by a sign outside government-owned Dumas House in West Perth, which uses the Bigger Picture logo to promote restoration works.
Dumas House is a heritage-listed building that is undergoing restoration works to address safety concerns, and prevent the building deteriorating further.
The property was the subject of a $56 million refurbishment in 2012, after which several government agencies and many government ministers moved in.
The Opposition says the blue logo is being “slapped on anything”, including the installation of new lights at a small park.
“No matter how small, they're ready to put a political advert on every single piece of government work across the state,” Opposition spokesperson Bill Johnston told reporters.
“It would seem that the Government's determined to try and get an edge in before the next election.”
Political analyst Peter Kennedy told ABC reporters that attaching the logo to works at Dumas House was questionable.
“It's an important government office block - no doubt about that... but there's no major community benefit from upgrading Dumas House,” he said.
“If they're new railway stations or hospitals or major roads, the Bigger Picture could be appropriate.
“In this case, it's an upgrade of a government building and you've got to ask the question, what's the public benefit there?”
The WA Department of Finance says Bigger Picture signage is put on any projects worth more than $500,000, or ones deemed to have significant community interest.