Added on 31-May-2009
THE State Government is crying poor, but it has found up to $300,000 to buy the rights to a song by supergroup Queen for an advertising campaign.
Don't Stop Me Now, written by the late Freddie Mercury in 1978, is the jingle promoting the Government's introduction of free-flow tolling on Queensland Motorways roads from July 1.
Have your say: What song should the Bligh Government buy next?
Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace refused to reveal what the royalties for the catchy song had cost, but said the six-week television advertising campaign, which ends tonight, would cost taxpayers just under $300,000, which he claimed was less than one day's average toll revenue on the Gateway Bridge.
"The current free-flow tolling advertising campaign has been highly effective to date in raising awareness about free-flow tolling and the forthcoming changes," he said.
"This is being reflected in customer feedback and increased tag acquisitions.
"About 10,000 tags a week have been distributed to customers since the campaign began."
From July, motorists will no longer need to stop and pay a toll on various motorways. The toll will be automatically collected via a tag – the same as e-toll – or by video tolling, where an image of the registration plate is captured and a bill sent out.
Mr Wallace said free-flow tolling was a significant change for motorists, and an advertising campaign was necessary to inform them of the new system and payment options.
"When the transition to free-flow tolling is completed, it is estimated it will save up to 10 minutes' travel time for current cash paying motorists using the Gateway and Logan motorway network," he said.
Don't Stop Me Now was voted the greatest driving song ever by viewers of the BBC television program Top Gear in 2005.
The single reached No.9 in the British charts, but only No.86 in the US.
It has been used in other television advertising campaigns in Australia and overseas.
It featured in a Panasonic commercial in Australia during coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in Britain for Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, and in the US for Gatorade Propel sports drink.