Public may pay for government fake news: Opposition


p2405 Lea Finocchiaro
Sir – The Labor Government is moving towards making it easier for government to use taxpayers’ money to fund propaganda promoting Ministers.
Among other things, the Bill removes the prohibition against using public dollars to produce advertisements that present opinions or are factually inaccurate, instead requiring only that a “source”, such as a contact person or previous Ministerial media release, be cited.
We have entered a new era of political spin and misinformation when a Ministerial press release can serve as a self-authenticating source document for information that is later advertised or disseminated to the public, using Territory Government funds.
The result of this change is that the Government will have the ability to create fake news and legislate lies, market that fake news and face no repercussions whatsoever for using public funds to advertise or distribute that fake news.
If the Labor Government were genuine, they would have repealed the Act entirely, rather than pretending it will have any useful function in keeping the Government to account after these changes are rushed through.
Another change is a backflip by the government on the use of a Minister’s image on government materials. In 2016 they banned the practice – the amendments will allow them to use them again in government propaganda.
Lia Finocchiaro
Deputy Leader of the Opposition


  1. The Chief Minister Michael Gunner and his government adopting principles of Dr Goebbels [Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister – ED]:
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    — Dr Joseph Goebbels: On the “Big Lie”
    Possible advertising change: “Welcome to the Northern Territory land of big lies.”
    Every MLA is part of the NT Government, their is role to draw public attention to serious failings and disgraces.


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