The Brisbane billboard story has been broken.
In the days before the crisis, it was widely reported that the city was on track to lose $30 million to $40 million a day of advertising revenue.
But now the city’s top advertising executive has resigned amid the controversy, and the billboard industry has already lost tens of millions of dollars.
But this isn’t the first time Brisbane’s billboard industry and government have tangled.
The city’s chief executive, Michael Cheever, resigned earlier this year, amid an ongoing internal investigation into how the billboard scandal unfolded.
The Brisbane Herald reported that a “significant number of people” believed the city had been defrauded by the Australian Capital Territory Government.
The newspaper said that “the allegations that Brisbane had been ripped off by the ACT Government, which operates the billboards, were not supported by the evidence”.
A report into the billboard crisis commissioned by the Government concluded that “Brisbane has a high degree of risk of future exposure”.
And the Herald also reported that some of the allegations in the report were untrue.
What’s next for the billboard saga?
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who was elected in June, has defended the way the billboard controversy unfolded.
“The Queensland Government is committed to transparency and accountability in all aspects of the advertising sector,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We have an open-minded approach to transparency, with the Government undertaking its own internal investigation.
We are committed to conducting an independent review to ensure that any issues that may have been identified and that the truth is uncovered in the future are addressed.”
Queensland has been one of the biggest billboards markets in Australia, and a key factor behind the rise of the state’s economy.
It has the second largest economy in the country, behind only Victoria, with a total population of 4.8 million.