Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 07, 2023


Union Advertising

In reply to the Hon. T.A. FRANKS ().30 November 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport has advised:

Advertising on trams that are operated by Torrens Connect are managed by a third-party supplier.

In accordance with content standards detailed in the advertising contract with the government, the supplier is obligated to ensure that all advertising installed must not depict political, religious or other subject matter which is considered to be contentious.

When the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) sought to advertise on South Australian government assets, unfortunately, contrary to longstanding and accepted protocols, the supplier failed to provide the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (the department) with an opportunity to review the proposed advertising by the CFMEU prior to placement. If that approval had been sought it would not have been given.

The department has always taken a conservative view as to what is determined to be political, religious, or other subject matter which is considered to be contentious.

Any entity proposing to advertise on trams will be considered by the supplier on a case by case basis, in consultation with the department, where deemed necessary, in accordance with their contract. However, advocacy groups that have a lobbying function would not normally be permitted to advertise on government assets, noting that they have numerous other avenues to advertise if they so wish.

The department has met with the supplier and reiterated and reinforced required protocols to ensure that this situation does not occur again.

This approach has been a longstanding practice under both sides of government and unfortunately in this case, due to an error on behalf of the supplier, normal protocols were not followed.