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Govt advertising bill hits near-record

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Federal government advertising spending has risen to its highest level in almost a decade.

New figures released on Monday show $174.7 million was spent over the past financial year on 25 campaigns, up almost 40 per cent on the previous year's spend.

The last time it was at similar levels was in 2007/08 when the advertising spend hit a record $185.3 million.

The biggest contributors to the bill were the federal election ($43.3 million), defence force recruiting ($31.4 million) and the national innovation and science agenda ($14.9 million).

The election advertising spend came to $51 million when market research, public relations and direct mail were added to the figure.

The Finance Department report said the campaign was needed to inform voters of changes to the Senate voting system and encourage participation in the election.

The defence campaign was to "correct common misperceptions about the service brands and maintain a flow of applications to fill around 7800 officer and general entry positions" in the army, navy and air force.

The report noted a new defence force campaign - which would be "culturally and linguistically diverse" - is due to be launched in 2017 using ethnic media.

It's part of the military's strategy to build a more diverse workforce.

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