A report from The Age on government advertising to educate the public about climate change:

There is $52.8 million ready to spend on a climate-change advertising blitz if and when the Government chooses to introduce one, [the Prime Minister] admitted yesterday.

But no such campaign had yet been approved, although it was likely that money had been spent on preparatory work, [they] said.

A Government climate-change ad campaign … dominated federal politics yesterday, with [the opposition] trying to censure the Prime Minister for misleading Parliament. [The Prime Minister] has denied 11 times that any advertising campaign has been approved …

But according to [the Opposition leader], the campaign is well developed …

… A Senate estimates committee was told that $176,000 had already been spent on market research for the campaign.

But [the Prime Minister] was resolute yesterday, saying the Government had not approved any climate-change advertising blitz, although, for the first time, [they said] that $52.8 million from this month’s budget had been set aside “to increase community understanding of climate change”.

“Of course the Government has set aside money for an information campaign in relation to climate change,” [the Prime Minister] told Parliament.

… [the Opposition leader] said there was an ad campaign and it was an abuse of taxpayers’ money.

The prime minister? John Howard. The opposition leader? Kevin Rudd. The publication date? May 30, 2007.

The more things change …