It’s no secret that the Abbott Government has taken a bit of a battering lately, with all recent polls more or less pointing towards the fact that most of the Australian public kind of, sort of thinks they’re a bunch of jerks. Of all the areas that are proving sticking points for the Coalition, one of the more vehemently opposed is their planned reforms to Higher Education.
You might recall that the Christopher Pyne-spearheaded legislation proposes that University fees be deregulated, meaning that schools will be free to charge whatever they want for their courses. When combined with the fact that the Government will be simultaneously lowering the amount of funding they allocate to tertiary institutions, the likely result is fees that will skyrocket, meaning it’s entirely likely that getting a University education will become much more expensive in the not too distant future.
So in an attempt to try and sway public opinion on the issue (and in a blind attempt to lower the volume on some of the screaming from the masses down to a light din) the Federal Government has launched a fancy new ad campaign that’s aimed at reminding you all that, hey, they’re not really bad guys!
The taxpayer funded (they wouldn’t say how much) campaign is spread across print, radio and TV, and will also feature a very heavy presence across social media.
The core message of the TV ad, which began airing in prime time last night, is pretty straightforward – the Government is good, more Uni fees are mad, and HECS isn’t going anywhere anyway so what the hell were you worried about in the first place, dummy?
The campaign also features a schmick-looking website that, again, leans reasonably heavy on the talking point of “HECS really isn’t going anywhere” even despite the fact that no one suggested it was. An interactive quiz posits a bunch of True/False questions about unusually positive-sounding statements such as “HECS is here to stay,” or “There are no limits on HECS loans,” or “What you earn has a lot to do with what you learn.” In a shocking development, the answer to all of the statements is “TRUE.” I know. Mindblower.
Long story short? Expect to see the ad literally every time you try and watch something on YouTube for the next few months.
This is your taxpayer dollars hard at work, kids.