New finance department figures have revealed Australians footed the bill for $174.1 million worth of tax-payer government advertising in the last financial year.
Of the total spent, $156 million was used for major advertising campaigns, including the the coalition’s re-election pitch, while the rest went to non-campaign ads.
This years’ figure is up a whopping 74 per cent on last year, but is still not a record high. In the 2015-2016 financial year, another election year, $174.7 million was spent on government advertising.
The sum does not account for smaller campaigns, the cost of consultant, creative and market research.
In August, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) revealed the true cost of government advertising was $210 million a year on average between 2010-11 and 2017-18.
The biggest spender was defence, coming in at $59.8m on advertising and market research in 2018-19.
The home affairs department declared $8.8m in market research and advertising for the “border watch information campaign” and the “anti-people smuggling communication campaign”.
Social services spent $9.3m on creative agencies, market research and advertising.
The department of communications and the arts spent $7.8m in total.
Lower spends included the agriculture department ($1.5m), foreign affairs and trade ($1.5m), veterans affairs ($1.1m) and industry, innovation and science ($0.4m).
You can read the full report here.