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Groom candidate’s huge social media advertising bill revealed

One Groom by-election candidate has massively outspent his political rivals on Facebook and Instagram advertising in the lead-up to today's vote.

An analysis of Facebook Ad Centre data by The Chronicle has revealed LNP candidate Garth Hamilton's campaign has spent roughly $9500 across Mr Hamilton's page, the LNP page and Prime Minister Scott Morrison's page.

On Mr Morrison's page the ads have been focused on the Prime Minister's personal support for Mr Hamilton.

"I need Garth as part of my LNP team to ensure more jobs, lower taxes and better roads and rail," the text of one ad said.

The ads on Mr Hamilton's page have focused on introducing who he is as a candidate and what he stands for.

Ballot draw for groom by election candidates. Candiate, LNP Garth Hamilton
Ballot draw for groom by election candidates. Candiate, LNP Garth Hamilton

The ads on the LNP page included an ad targeting Labor candidate Chris Meibusch for not supporting the New Acland Coal Mine stage three expansion.

Mr Meibusch's Labor campaign has spent about $2650 on social media advertising.

About $2150 of that was on Mr Meibusch's candidate page, while $500 was spent on Senator Anthony Chisholm's Facebook page.

There have been no ads related to the Groom by-election associated with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese's Facebook page.

Queensland University of Technology political analyst John Mickel, who was a former Labor MP in the state parliament, said the LNP outspending Labor four to one on election advertising in Groom wasn't a surprise.

"The only surprise is it wasn't more, I expected it to be much, much higher," Professor Mickel said.

"(Social media advertising) is a way of really cutting into a particular voter and a particular suburb you might want to direct your attention towards."

The Sustainable Australia Party has spent $200 on Facebook ads, while no records could be found for the Liberal Democrats.

Originally published as Groom candidate's huge social media advertising bill revealed


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