The Weatherill Labor Government spent over $400,000 on advertising its Alert SA app, which is more than the annual running costs of the app itself.
Freedom of Information documents reveal that the Premier’s Communications Advisory Group (PCAG) approved the $404,000 advertising campaign.
“Surely it’s the State Government’s responsibility to purchase and maintain the best app possible so that lives are not put at risk, instead of splurging on advertising an app which isn’t up to scratch,” said Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Stephan Knoll.
The State Liberal team is calling on the government to run a publicly funded advertising campaign to warn South Australians not to use the Alert SA application and advise them to use alternative information sources.
“Over 170,000 South Australians have downloaded the Alert SA app and many rely on the app to provide timely and reliable information.
“The government has made the right call to stop advising people to use the app but must do more to notify people of the changes.
“We are right in the middle of a very difficult fire season and with many people away on holidays, thousands of people would be unaware of what has happened.
“The government has been willing to run ad campaigns at the drop of a hat. This is a serious and important matter, if people are relying on information that doesn’t come then it could end up as a life or death situation.
“Labor has spent millions on governments ads in recent years. Given that this failure has led to a chaotic and dangerous situation, they should run a legitimate advertising campaign for once, which tells people not to use Alert SA – which would be money well spent.
“Minister Picton must leave no stone unturned in ensuring that South Australians have all the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe during extreme weather conditions.”