Senate Estimates has today revealed that the Turnbull Liberals are preparing to spend $450,000 on a pre by-election advertising campaign to sell the largely unknown Industry Growth Centres initiative.

Officials confirmed the money will be spent by the Department of Industry in the next two months - right before the super Saturday by-elections take place on 28 July.  


The government already spends $673,000 per year on the Growth Centres’ communications team. Despite this, the Department forked out $250,000 of taxpayers’ money for consultants to create a Facebook page for the Industry Growth Centres. 

This is after another $78,000 was dished out to another consultancy to investigate how many businesses had heard about the initiative.  Departmental officials confirmed that the research undertaken by Woolcott found “There was low recognition of the Growth Centres initiative and low awareness of opportunities to engage with individual Growth Centres”.

After 3 years and $120 million spent on the Program, this admission is extraordinary, especially given at least one of the Growth Centre’s CEOs is on a salary of $485,000 per annum.

The evidence provided today exposes just how desperate this government is – throwing endless taxpayer dollars away in an attempt to convince the public that they have an industry plan.

The Turnbull Liberals are champions of masterly inactivity when it comes to Australian industry policy and jobs. But Australians see through this expensive façade – only Labor can trusted when it comes to Aussie jobs. 

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