POPULAR actors were to be recruited to try to persuade Victorians that smart meters were a good idea.
Secret documents reveal a plan to hire “down-to-earth” celebrities such as John Wood, Ray Meagher, Michael Caton and Denise Drysdale to overcome negative public opinion about the electricity meters.
The Baillieu Government has seized on the documents, saying they also show a $240 million blowout was kept secret for two years.
The market research was commissioned by the former Labor government in 2010.
A plan was hatched to employ actors to spruik the devices.
The study, by Open Mind Research Group, warned the government against using a politician or “greenie” to sell smart meters.
“The risk is that if the debate is not refocused to include the positives, the negatives and confusing aspects of the debate will continue to dominate,” the report says.
Labor lost government six months after the report was completed and the plan was never acted on.
Other documents include letters from power distributors to then energy minister Peter Batchelor warning that smart meters could not be installed on schedule.