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Liberals using tobacco revenue to fund attack ads

Lara Giddings, MP

Tasmania Premier

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Liberals using tobacco revenue to fund attack ads

The Premier, Lara Giddings, said the Liberal Opposition had been exposed using money from tobacco companies to fund their expensive commercial television campaign.

Ms Giddings said the latest political donations report by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) showed that the Liberals received $22,000 from British American Tobacco and $15,900 from Phillip Morris last year.

“It is reprehensible that the Liberal Party in Tasmania continues to accept donations from tobacco companies,” Ms Giddings said.

“We now know how Will Hodgman can afford to bombard commercial television with glossy ads in the lead-up to the next EMRS poll.

“Those ads should carry the disclaimer: funded by Big Tobacco.

“It is also clear why the State Director of the Liberal Party, Sam McQuestin was so reluctant to answer how the ads were funded when asked on ABC Radio this week*

“He didn’t want to reveal that the propaganda the Liberals are peddling to the Tasmanian people is being paid for by companies that cost our health system millions of dollars every year in treating tobacco related diseases.”

Ms Giddings called on the Liberal Party to immediately cease taking donations from tobacco companies.

“More than half the Liberal Party’s disclosed donations now come from tobacco companies, adding to the $56,000 since 2003.

“Will Hodgman and the Liberals are hopelessly addicted to tobacco donations and they should come clean with the Tasmanian people what other grubby campaigns they are preparing to fund with their rivers of tar.”

*COMPTON     Where did the money come from? Most people who have been around the state political traps for any length of time would know that campaigns are hard to fund even at the height of the election cycle. Where did the money come from?

McQUESTIN     Ah well.., err, the.., the money has come from.., err.., err.., from our own.., err, resources, I suppose, Leon. Err, we have a.., a consistent fundraising activity which I don’t think I’d.., I’m keen to outline, but.., that will.., err, that continues on and on, and.., as I say, given the unstable nature of.., of this.., this Government.., err, we decided it was a good opportunity to.., to u.., to use some now.

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