Regional Roads Victoria, touted as the solution to fix the crumbling rural road network, spent $1.47 million on promotion in its first six months of operation, documents released under Freedom of Information show.
Launched in September 2018, the documents show that between April 2018 and January 2019 – just six months - RRV spent:
· $800,000 on a media campaign - including social media, billboards, print and radio ads
· $191,000 on a television commercial
· $27,000 on brand exploration and architecture
· $168,920 on campaign creative assets
· $155,5000 on brand concept and implementation/campaign creative concepts
· $37,661.62 on branded “merchandise”
· $11,939.45 on signage
· $16,328.50 on branded stationary
· $2,802.50 on branded high-vis vests
· $8,795 on a wall graphic for the Ballarat office
This spend on merchandise and advertising comes as the State Budget details that the Andrews Labor Government has:
· Cut the number of alcohol screening tests conducted by 400,000;
· Failed to increase the number of drug tests conducted;
· Cut regional road maintenance for Victoria’s major local roads including non-arterial state roads, minor roads and local regional roads;
· Reduced the benchmark standards for regional roads to meet cracking standards, which leads to potholes and poor road quality;
· Cut $47.2 million from the existing Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022 over the past year.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell:
“The Andrews Labor Government is using Regional Roads Victoria as a propaganda machine to tell Victorians what a great job it is doing fixing our roads – but we know that’s not the case.
“How many potholes could have been filled or roads resurfaced with the money RRV spent on promoting itself?
“When RRV was announced I said I was worried it was just creating another cumbersome bureaucracy that would chew up important road maintenance dollars in staff costs and endless branding - so far that’s all we are seeing.
“People in rural and regional Victoria want their roads fixed; they don’t want their taxpayer dollars being spent on high-vis vests, drink bottles and pens.
“Rather than expensive campaigns telling people it is doing a good job, RRV should focus on doing the work and letting results speak for themselves.”