Media Release: Alistair Coe MLA, 31 July 2009
The ACTION Bus Service has a secret deal on advertising that is beyond scrutiny by the Assembly and should be disclosed, according to Shadow Minister for Transport Services, Alistair Coe.
With the territory budget spiralling into deficit, every area of revenue needs to be scrutinised and utilised for the benefit of the community, concluded Mr Coe.
When I asked Jon Stanhope as the Minister for Transport what the revenue for advertising on ACTION Buses was during 2007-08, he refused to answer, claiming that information was confidential. When I asked about 2008-2009, I received the same inadequate response.
When asked how much they charge for placement of advertising on the outside of our ACTION Buses, the Minister refused point blank to provide that information, stating that information is commercial in confidence.
This is absurd. How can we sell advertising on our bus network if people cannot find out how much it costs? After the Minister refused to answer, we contacted the advertising company who freely provided the information. So the information is not commercial in confidence, it is simply that the Minister is trying to hide behind that excuse instead of answering reasonable questions.
The real question is what does the Minister have to hide?
Similarly, how much that agency charges for commission is kept secret.
This absurd secrecy shows a government again refusing to be responsive or responsible. Once again we see gruff and bluster from Jon Stanhope instead of answers.
There is clearly no justification for refusing to give this information, Mr Coe said.