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Christian Porter calls union ad “new low in politics”


The NRMA said nearly 50 pedestrians died in road accidents in NSW last year and urged everyone to use the traffic deaths to spread a message to view their campaigns through that lens.

When asked if NRMA agreed with Mr Porter’s view that the ads were inappropriate, spokesman Peter Khoury said, “I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.”


Mr Porter said he expected robust debate, including publicity, over the bill, which will be presented to a Senate committee. But he argued the ad had exceeded a limit.

“I just think this ad is just a new low in Australian politics,” Porter said.

It was worse than an ad broadcast by the left-wing political group GetUp 2019 portraying Tony Abbott as a lifesaver, indifferent to the pleas of drowning swimmers, as a metaphor for the former prime minister’s position on climate change.

GetUp withdrew this ad after the Royal Life Saving Society criticized it as “very distasteful” amid a spate of drownings.

Australian Industry Group’s executive director Innes Willox said the bus advertising was tasteless and urged MPs to scrutinize the legislation for merit.


In a complaint to Ad Standards, the employers lobby group of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry went even further.

“These advertisements may indeed serve to motivate or encourage similar violent, anti-social and potentially terrorist behavior,” said the lawsuit on behalf of ACCI’s director of industrial relations, Scott Barklamb. And it was said that Mr Morrison was shown without a seat belt.

The Australian union council, which is running its own less drastic campaign, declined to comment directly on the stop-the-bus advertisement but supported its message.

Labor relations spokesman Tony Burke accused the government of trying to distract from the debate on its bill by criticizing the ad.

“You have a real problem out there,” said Mr. Burke. “People will take home a cut in their salary,” he said.

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