Posted on 14. Nov, 2012 in News

Instead of running the State, the Coalition is running secret focus groups to test excuses for two years of inaction, delay and stagnation.

The Opposition has been leaked questions and obtained copies of a fourteen-page document that was provided to participants in focus groups in the electorates of Bentleigh and Mordialloc.

The Opposition understands that participants were asked a number of questions about how the Baillieu Government was travelling including whether Victoria had stagnated, if the government needed more time to deliver its promises and who they could blame for failing to act for two years.

Participants were also asked to give feedback on what they thought of the booklet which highlights infrastructure ‘planning studies’ as the major achievement of the Liberal-National Government after two years.

Martin Pakula, Spokesperson for Scrutiny of Government, said the booklet titled, Planning, Building, Delivering, was a poor attempt to convince voters that the Coalition had any runs on the board, let alone any answers.

“At the half-way mark of this term of Government, the Coalition has only just realised that Victorians expect action – not alibis – from their Premier,” Mr Pakula said.

“Focus testing who to blame for failing to achieve anything for two years is not leadership but just cynical spin.

“Despite having a majority in both houses of the Victorian Parliament, the Coalition has failed to act on job creation and infrastructure projects and has instead slashed funding for TAFE and hospitals.”

“The panic has started at Exhibition Street and the Coalition has swung into damage control mode, testing whether voters in Melbourne’s sandbelt suburbs will give them a second chance,” Mr Pakula said.

“This is not surprising when the Coalition has next to nothing to show for the two years they have been in power. Surely their focus should be on governing well, not on testing their messages.”

Insiders advised that the following information was sought:

• Could they name the Members for Bentleigh and Mordialloc

• Could they name Liberal Ministers

• Could they name the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Ministers

• Other questions focused on Ted Baillieu’s leadership abilities, attributes and qualities.

• Did the group feel that the Government would achieve what they promised at the last election?

• Did they think the Government deserved more time to deliver its promises?

• Would they vote Liberal again to give them more time to achieve their plans?

• Did they think the state has stagnated under this government?

• Were they reluctant to vote Labor back in 2002 when the Government had only one term to achieve its aims?

• Who were their federal members of Parliament?

• They were asked for their opinion on the best way for the Government to communicate with them.

• They were asked about whether the state of Victoria’s finances when they came into government could be put forward as a reason why they could not invest in infrastructure and services.

• Respondents were then asked to take away the brochure, advise if they would read it and asked their opinions on it.


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