The Weekend Australian was enlivened on Saturday by an ad on page six slamming the Western Australian Government for not cutting its taxes as required by the GST agreement between the commonwealth and the states. “It’s time for the WA Government to end double taxation,” it concluded. Who placed it? A business group? Er… at the bottom of the ad runs the usual “Authorised by the Australian Government…” line.

So we have an ad that appears to be political – yet funded from consolidated revenue. Even more blatantly political than the Howard Government’s already extensive and expensive promotional campaigns. A sign of things to come after 1 July?