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October 2013

OMCG members fear nothing. Good.

Outlaw motorcycle gang members make much of their bravado and reputed fear of nothing.

The fear of nothing might be about to be realised because that's what each person involved in the targetted outlaw gangs will end up with.   Nothing.   Nothing by way of assets, nothing in the bank, nothing left in the hidey holes, and nothing that remotely resembles a future in an OMCG.

There are some very serious players here with reputations for getting things done.  It will be important that all states have the same zeal, focus and broadly the same laws so there will be nowhere to run and hide.

131030 Keenan-Napthine - Victorian strike team cracks down on bikies_001

131030 Keenan-Napthine - Victorian strike team cracks down on bikies_002

Former MP reckons "Professor" tag is devalued by former politicians who seek it out

Gillard bebbington 2

News Limited websites carry this story kicked off by former Victorian Liberal MP Phil Honeywood.   I reckon Phil's right.   If you want to be a professor, do the work.

I'd add to Phil's commentary with another consideration about this practice.  There's too much scope for unhelpful suspicions when a former politician is rewarded with a title for "supporting" an institution (ie by deciding to give the institution taxpayer funds).  

Professor tag 'wasted on pollies', says Phil Honeywood

Former politicians appointed to often honorary roles in universities should not be given the title of professor because it undermines the long struggle and hard work of real academics, a former senior politician says.

Phil Honeywood, who in a former life was a deputy leader of the Victorian Liberals, said while there was a strong temptation for vice-chancellors to gather a cadre of VIPs, "it's a temptation that should be resisted". "Genuine academics spend many years acquiring the skills and knowledge to have the right to be called professor," Mr Honeywood said. "But to hand out the title to VIPs who might have graduated in the school of life but never taught a graduate class or written a research paper that has been peer reviewed is just wrong."

He was commenting on a recent spate of appointments of former politicians, including Julia Gillard and Bob Carr, to academic positions.

A list compiled by the HES reveals that almost all such appointments are to former Labor politicians. Whether this is due to a "natural companionship" with Left-leaning academics or whether former Liberal politicians are shunned by the academy is open for debate, said Geoff Gallop, former ALP premier of Western Australia and now director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney.

"Maybe conservative politicians feel universities wouldn't welcome them. Or maybe they are more interested in making money by sitting on corporate boards. I don't know the answer. There could be prejudice on both sides," Professor Gallop said.

University of Queensland economist and political commentator John Quiggin agreed. "There's a whole new business in post-political careers. They used to be older when they left politics and just retired," Professor Quiggin said. "Now they are becoming politicians before they have a real job and are much younger when they leave. But my experience is that most of these roles are honorary positions; a university is a convenient place to park themselves after parliament".

 News Limited published a list of professorial appointees with the story.

Comments like Marilyn's usually go to the keeper - I'll take this ignorance on once and for all

This morning I received a comment from Marilyn about this post, published by us on Monday 21 October 2013.


Eyewitness report of 130 illegal boat people arriving at Christmas Island 20 October 2013

Shaz reports that she was on the water in her own boat yesterday and saw HMAS Warramunga coming in to Christmas Island.   She saw about 130 people on board and took these photos from the water on a beautiful day on CI.


Marilyn is a real person.   I'm seeing a lot more new readers coming to the blog for the first time and leaving comments on older posts like this one - often in language much like Marilyn's.   I don't know Marilyn, but the things said in this comment are vile and terribly ill-informed and I'd like to take this head-on just the once.

Race hatred

Inciting race hate is a criminal offence in New South Wales.   Accusing someone of racism and even worse, of inciting race hate is a serious and horrible allegation.   Marilyn is wrong about the race related element of our work.  She's also mistaken in her judgement about the "innocence" of the people she assumes I am racist about in so far as that innocence relates to a history of no illegal acts in Australia.

I'm very proud of the work Shaz has done continuously now for some months in reporting movements on Christmas Island.   It's never race based and always highly accurate, Shaz has very finely attuned radar to potential movements in her part of the world.

On Sunday 20 October Shaz took the shots above and on Monday, 21 October we carried the above report estimating 130 people had arrived.   I'm not aware of other media making that report.

Later on that Monday we reported that Triton had arrived with people on board.

As soon as we could confirm our estimate of numbers we carried this further report confirming 40 people transferred to Christmas Island.

I'm not aware of any other media covering those arrivals at the time.  

Government policy now is not to make arrival and boat information available as it happens.   The weekly briefings are held each Friday, here's a link to last Friday, 25 October, 2013.

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Commander of Operation Soverign Borders Joint Agency Task Force address press conference - 25 October 2013


ANGUS CAMPBELL: Thank you Minister.

Welcome to the Operation Sovereign Borders weekly briefing for the period 9 o'clock Friday 18 October until 9 o'clock this morning. For those who have not previously attended, I will just note that my comments will be confined to activities during the week, ending 9 o'clock this morning relating to the off-water reception and processing of illegal maritime arrivals under the control of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. I will not discuss current or potential future on-water operations.

During the reporting period, people from two suspected illegal entry vessels had arrived into immigration processing.

On Sunday 20 October, 126 people were transferred to Immigration authorities at Christmas Island.

On Monday 21 October, a further 40 people were transferred to Immigration authorities from a second vessel. In addition, during the reporting period four crew members were transferred to the control of Immigration authorities.


Marilyn, the purpose of our articles, photographs and first hand interviews is to report the truth.   Your ill-informed observation doesn't advance that goal in any way - but we can help you in learning a little about the law that makes entry by boat without a visa illegal.

It may be Marilyn that you'd ignore our analysis of the Migration Act 1958 and in particular the provisions particularised in Section 14 that define the illegality.   You might be tempted to use some colourful language in dismissing our analysis.  That might make you feel better but it won't fix the gaps in your knowledge.

So rather than tempt fate with our own analysis, here's the ABC's in-house website which following your logic must be dedicated to "continuing to incite race hatred against innocent people, who are not more illegal "anything" than the ABC itself".

Fact check morrison

NBN Co's Annual Report breaks new ground in defining the term "construction commenced"

Terms like "construction commenced" used to mean holes in the ground, tradesmen at work and visible activity on some site.

For the NBN Co, "construction commenced" includes activities like having a think about the high level design for an NBN area.

It's a bit like you or me coming from an intitial meeting with the architect who's knocked up a a couple of dream-home design concepts - then marching straight down to the bank expecting it to hand over the mortgage funding because "construction has commenced".

Prudent lenders and providers of equity capital seldom take kindly to novel definitions like that.   It's an easy way to lose money.

The two "shareholder ministers" who represent the taxpayer in the Rudd/Conroy "investment-grade" NBNCo must feel much the same way.   Here's their letter that should be read with the grossly misleading NBNCo's Annual Report.

Nbn shareholder letter_001
Nbn shareholder letter_002

To Mark Scott, Editor-in-Chief, ABC. The Australian's editor took responsibility for his paper today. You should observe how it's done..

Mark Scott is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Editor-in-Chief.

Like a newspaper editor responsible for a newspaper that includes a lift-out magazine, cartoons, lifestyle, cooking, travel, news and commentary sections, Mark Scott is responsible as Editor-in-Chief for everything the ABC puts to air, not just news reports and programs.

Abc editorial policy_005
Some people grow in stature, influence and gravitas during their time in a job.  Mark Scott has done precisely the opposite.

Here's Mark Scott when he was newly appointed to the job as Managing Director of the ABC on 17 October, 2006 as published in this story in The Australian - it's just over 7 years ago.  

New ABC boss vows no more bias

ABC managing director Mark Scott last night admitted the national broadcaster had to respond to claims it was politically biased in its news, current affairs and other programming, by launching new editorial guidelines.

Mr Scott singled out the watchdog program Media Watch as needing an overhaul in his plan to ensure more balance and diversity of opinion on the ABC, long accused of perceived left-wing bias.

Mr Scott said he accepted a July ruling by broadcast watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority that found a Four Corners report on the Tasmanian forest industry by journalist Ticky Fullerton was not impartial. "I can understand how they reached that finding," he said.

As for Media Watch, presently hosted by Monica Attard, Mr Scott said he had "encouraged the director of television (Kim Dalton) to work with the Media Watch team to review their format and content next year to ensure there was more opportunity for debate and discussion around contentious and important issues".

Mr Scott chose the conservative think tank run by ABC critic Gerard Henderson to unveil a tough new editorial policy that subjects all radio and television programs to the same editorial scrutiny as news and current affairs.

He created a new position - director of editorial policies - to report to him in his role as "editor-in-chief of the ABC" to monitor and assess editorial performance across all television and radio programming.

Speaking to The Australian before his speech, Mr Scott said the ABC would "look to see whether, on ourstaff, or among those we recruit as contributors, we have the breadth and diversity of voices to be able todeliver what we want to deliver". [DISCUSS HOW HE WENT - MPS]

Mr Scott, who joined the ABC in July, gave the nod of approval to Barrie Cassidy's Insiders, Lateline host Tony Jones and The 7.30 Report host Kerry O'Brien. He endorsed their "rigorous" style of interviewing.

"And the best politicians know that to be subject to a cross-examination by a Kerry O'Brien or a Tony Jones, by a Virginia Trioli or a Jon Faine, and hold their own, increases their political reputation and support. That's why the best politicians keep going on."

But ABC staff, their union and Labor questioned how the rules could be enforced for drama, comedy and children's shows.

"This is outrageous. It's just another attack upon the ABC and its independence," said Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Stephen Jones. "It's also a little bit demoralising.

"Does it mean that comedians can no longer take pot shots at the Government? Is there some political content in Play School? We are getting to the stage where we are looking for political content and bias in children's programs."

Mr Scott signalled that the ABC newsroom would also be encouraged to cover more populist topics. "Unlike some of the commercial media, we have to serve all of the public, not just those who would come to the ABC for comfort of confirmation," he said.

"I am also concerned that we are not unnecessarily narrow in our news selection, reporting on interests of great interest to the newsroom, but of less interest to our broader community.

"This is a challenge for newsrooms everywhere, but particularly those populated by intelligent, thoughtful and serious-minded journalists, like our newsrooms."

I liked him a lot better back then.   Mark Scott sounded like he meant business.   What he said was spot on.   But the words were empty - Mr Scott simply hasn't delivered.   He's been an ineffective leader who seems to think his job is to author supportive Twitter messages and emails for staff.   Rather than take responsibility and lead, he's succumbed to the ABC's culture and appears to have given up on being its Editor-in-Chief.

When the ABC broadcast the image of Chris Kenny with his trousers around his ankles in a doctored photograph involving a dog, Mark Scott spoke of the issue as if he was a TV and movie critic, rather than the man responsible for the broadcast.

ABC managing director Mark Scott has expressed his displeasure at The Hamster Decides' sketch pillorying The Australian's columnist Chris Kenny.

In an interview on Melbourne’s ABC774, Mr Scott said he thought The Chaser's sketch depicting the columnist and ABC critic Kenny with a dog was "full-on", "tasteless", "undergraduate” and "personally I didn't like it".

"I can understand Chris Kenny and his family being upset by it (the Chaser sketch) and I'm sorry about that," he said.

Mr Scott noted only one complaint was received within 36 hours of the broadcast. It is believed the remainder of complaints, less than 200, came only after the sketch was highlighted in other media.

Today The Australian has nailed Mark Scott and the effect of his 7 years at the ABC helm.  This editorial is very well put together, particularly in its observations about the ingrained incuriosity and reluctance to research and break stories amongst the ABC's journalists and newsrooms.

The wasted opportunity is a tragedy.  All that money could have produced so much really insightful good for the nation.   Instead a stultifying torpor pervades the ABC, driven by a smug contentment about the moral superiority of their "mission".   That results in most ABC news reports containing a leader that quotes a "new study" or press release, followed by the confirmation-bias selected comment of some ABC approved expert.

The Australian has done us all a great service with this editorial.   I hope the Abbott Government is listening too.

Time to open up the ABC insiders to outside review

UNDER managing director Mark Scott the ABC has expanded and become less accountable.

It has used extra government funding and favourable allocation of a lucrative government contract to work its way into every corner of the media market, forcing all private media, even struggling digital start-ups, to face a public competitor providing free content.

Commercial news services can even purchase news content from the public broadcaster. As the number of journalists in the private sector shrinks, the ABC expands.

Divisions between print, television, radio and online are becoming blurred. The ABC was established to provide a national radio and (later) television service. Now it pushes taxpayer-funded content online at no direct cost to consumers, just as the private sector -- including, of course, The Australian -- strives to convince customers that content is worthy of purchase.

Our interest is clear, as is our role. But what is the ABC's role? Is it to continually expand its size and reach for no reason other than the unchecked bureaucratic tendency towards empire-building?

Mr Scott brazenly championed his empire and the Labor government was sympathetic. Twice the ABC contested a tender for DFAT's overseas television service, worth more than $200 million over 10 years, and twice the ABC lost to Sky News (which has small corporate links to The Australian).

Yet in a startling decision never convincingly explained, the ABC was given the contract regardless. Still, the Australia Network coverage of the recent bushfires was bettered by global players such as CNN and BBC World.

If we consider whether the ABC is reaching too far, we should also ask whether it is spreading too thin. Instead of asserting his editorial leadership, Mr Scott has been the cheerleader for his staff, extolling their virtues on Twitter. As editor-in-chief, his role is to impose standards rather than merely defend a largely autonomous editorial cohort.

Last week, when Mr Scott described our exclusive story about Barrie Cassidy as an "outrageous beat-up", he showed poor judgment. Slow to admonish transgressors in his own organisation, he prefers to find fault elsewhere. Yet when dubious government processes over Cassidy's election-campaign appointment were revealed (along with apparent ABC co-operation in keeping the arrangement quiet), Mr Scott's knee-jerk reaction was not self-examination but self-defence.

Our modest story was such a beat-up that it led to the intervention of the Arts Minister and Attorney-General, George Brandis, and a wise and gracious resignation from Cassidy.

Everyone will have their own definition of a beat-up, but Mr Scott's is important. For instance, he presumably wouldn't use the term to describe Four Corners' use of footage surreptitiously shot by animal rights activists to inflame emotional claims about Indonesian slaughterhouses. Nor, presumably, would he apply it to the way the national broadcaster fuelled public outrage through extensive television and radio coverage, prompting a reactive government to pre-emptively ban a live-cattle trade crucial to both nations.

On the other hand, Mr Scott obviously decided The Australian's revelations about the AWU affair, based on primary sources, constituted a beat-up the national broadcaster had best avoid. Given the claims about the pre-politics professional life of Julia Gillard have triggered an ongoing police investigation, we would query the reasons for the ABC's apparent aversion.

Perhaps the ABC doesn't get enough practice making editorial judgments because it has such a poor record in breaking stories -- save for those spoon-fed by unions or environmental and animal rights activists. With vast resources and annual public funding of more than $1 billion, the ABC fails to break as many significant stories in a year as this newspaper does in a week.

This should concern Mr Scott, as should the news that even departing former foreign minister and NSW premier Bob Carr has referred to a Greens/Left/ABC/Fairfax point of view.

The ABC should have no political leaning and no discernible view except one of Australian nationalism, open-mindedness, curiosity, plurality and fair-minded debate. As a matter of priority, the Abbott government must review the ABC's reach, role, funding and internal leadership

Brendan Nelson's resignation letter should be submitted today - how did the National Press Club miss this?

On 18 September 2013 Dr Brendan Nelson gave a speech to the National Press Club, the blurb from the National Press Club is here:

A transcript is here:

Here's the ABC's video of the entire address is here.

Dr Nelson's judgement about what his role means as steward of the Australian War Memorial  is reflected in these paragraphs, delivered by him, his idea, his words, his judgement and his responsibility for the consequences which should flow.

What we are doing with the Keating eulogy for the unknown Australian soldier is it's now being struck in bronze. And it will be placed on the Hall of Memory, on the left hand side as you walk into the Hall of Memory. The Hall of Memory of course being that magnificent byzantine dome designed by Napier Waller, and which houses the unknown soldier reinterred from the Adelaide Cemetery in France in 1993.

In addition to that, the surround around the tomb of the unknown Australian soldier, at one end currently has 'Known unto God'. At the other end it has 'He symbolises all Australians who've died in war'. We are removing those, and replacing, from the same quarry stone, and into one end we will engrave 'We do not know this Australian's name, we never will'. And at the end as you walk into the hall it will say 'He is one of them, and he is all of us'.

Paul Keating has accepted my invitation to give the commemorative address on Remembrance Day this year at the Australian War Memorial. And we will also, on that occasion, be officially inaugurating, permanently, this remarkable eulogy which he gave to us - our nation.

Dr Nelson, he delivered a good speech.  But he gave it from the grandstand as a commentator observing events in 1993.  He is not of the returned.   Be he ever so high, God is above him and God was a presence for our young men at war.   The unifying effect of Rudyard Kipling's words, adopted and owned by our returned men is the key issue here.  

Dr Nelson your role is to commemorate their service.   Replacing their words with a contemporary politician's speech, regardless of its quality is unthinkable.

I cannot see how you can survive in your role with your flawed judgement so clearly on display.

The National Commission of Audit should examine ABC and SBS funding in detail - with your help

Reader Marmion sent me this note - a lot of thought's gone into this and Marmion makes tremendously good sense.


The broad terms of reference of the Audit Commission enables a close examination of the ABC &SBS for duplication and waste leading to a cut-back on their funding and even their sale.

See at

And at -


It is better for the Government to receive and act on an "independent" recommendation about the ABC and like bodies than initiate its own action which would be portrayed as "political interference" in the "independent" ABC.

So, when the Audit Commission calls shortly for submissions, critics of the ABC should respond smartly.

I suggest the key words to focus on are DUPLICATION, WASTE, The INTERNET and STRUCTURAL.

Specifically, the Audit Commission is asked to look at DUPLICATION between the Commonwealth and the States, but the same consideration would apply when looking at Federal Government agencies such as the ABC & SBS. It is also empowered to recommend on asset sales.

The ABC and the SBS duplicate each other and within their own operations there is considerable duplication between outlets offering the same or similar content. The multiplicity of their television and radio outlets results in them acquiring programmes from foreign public and private broadcasters to fill in air-time.

Even the Friends of the ABC criticise its acquisition of foreign content rather than developing its own content. Lack of funds is suggested as the issue.

However, it is more likely that waste of funds by duplication of services and outlets is the root cause.

For example, the ABC and SBS both run the BBC World Service throughout the night. Why?

ABC's Radio National runs programmes from the UK's new Internet producer & broadcaster Monocle 24. Why?

See at

and at

"Monocle 24 has a content-sharing agreement with Radio National in Australia that includes its Culture programme and The Urbanist[15] and also sells its shows to the CBC in Canada. Programmes can be listened to live or downloaded at and are also available on iTunes."

ABC Radio National broadcasts New Dimensions programmes. Yet, they are available by listener subscription on the Internet directly at the Website of New Dimensions in the USA.

See at-

And at -


Monocle 24 is a private company modelled on the BBC  with the express intention of taking over public broadcast space. “Tyler Brûlé said “From the point of view its ambitions for global reach and coverage of world affairs, Monocle 24 will probably resemble and sound like many commonwealth public service broadcasters, including BBC World Service, as well as shades of ABC and Canada’s CBC. We are hoping to create a station which follows the tradition of the great Commonwealth broadcasters. It’s no surprise that we have drawn a lot of great people from the BBC World Service.

Whilst, Monocle 24 is an example of private enterprise willing and able to move into areas public broadcasters claim as their domain. But why are Australian taxpayers paying the overhead costs here in Australia for this private sector body to expand its operations?


The Internet enables  audiences to tune into radio broadcasts or to subscribe to broadcasts globally, so why do we need the capital cost of the ABC and SBS, simply to re-broadcast these foreign programmes?

Ironically, higher broadband speeds touted for the NBN offers more opportunity for interested parties to download foreign programmes directly without the need for the ABC or the SBS doing so at great expense.

It is not even clear in the ABC's Charter that it is permitted to broadcast foreign programmes. It may be desirable to do so to educate or entertain the Australian public but in the absence of a specific power to do so the ABC's Charter needs re-examination by the Federal Government. This might provide an opening for a thorough review of the ABC's Charter.


The ABC in its present structure is ungovernable, unmanageable and unaccountable.

In preparation for asset sales, the Government might be urged to consider establishing separate corporate structures each with a Board of Commercial Directors from the private sector for say ABC Radio, ABC Television, ABC News and ABC Radio Australia and subjecting these operations to the Corporations Act.

The ABC's internal complaints procedure is laughable. It must uphold very few complaints against itself!

The ABC legislation should be changed to subject the ABC to outside scrutiny by ACMA and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.


For anyone genuinely interested in reform and the idea that taxpayer money should be spent wisely this is a great opportunity!

Commercial broadcasters' standards are enforced with sanctions - the ABC has an in-house club

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has very wide powers to punish commercial radio operators who breach standards.   ACMA can:

• Impose an additional condition on the license;
• Refer the matter for prosecution as an offence;
• Issue a civil penalty notice;
• Issue a remedial direction;
• Suspend or cancel the license; or
• At any time, accept an enforceable undertaking.

ACMA can also take informal action in relation to breaches of standards.

Alan Jones of 2GB is in their sights at the moment.  Here's The Age's report of ACMA's most recent finding against him.

Alan Jones breaches code with exaggerated climate change broadcast: ACMA

Radio talk back host Alan Jones is in hot water again with the media watchdog after breaching the commercial radio code of practice by making unsubstantiated comments about power station closures and the salaries of climate change bureaucrats.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority rejected a third complaint that the Sydney broadcaster got his facts wrong about NBN rollout costs.

But the regulator was critical of Jones' use of exaggerated and emotive terms, such as "white elephant" and "disaster". "His delivery was emotional, the language judgemental and hyperbolic, and the statements lacking in specificity," ACMA said. All in all, Jones was deemed to be expressing his opinion, not fact.

These investigations cost commercial radio station owners heaps in lawyers, time, extra staff and training etc.   Any ACMA investigation hurts commercial stations regardless of the ultimate sanction.

Compare and contrast that with the ABC which spends other people's money.  It's allowed to develop and operate its own in-house complaints management system.   Unsatisfied complainants can go to the ACMA after the in-house process is exhausted but to what effect?   The ABC has no profit motive and the pain associated with an external investigation doesn't hit the ABC with anything like the effect it has on a commercial station.

Here's part of a July 2013 letter from the ABC's Michael Millett, Director of Corporate Affairs in answer to a request for submissions as set out below:


ABC submission in response to the ACMA’s issues paper
on contemporary community safeguards 
Dear Madam/Sir,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input into the Australian Communications and Media
Authority’s inquiry into contemporary community safeguards. The ABC understands the ACMA’s purpose in conducting this inquiry is to develop a conceptual framework in relation to contemporary community standards that the ACMA can draw upon when performing its role in relation to the registration and review of codes of practice developed by licensed broadcasters under sections 123 and 123A of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (“BSA”).

The ACMA is not similarly empowered under the BSA when it comes to codes developed by the
national broadcasters. Under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 (“ABC Act”), the ABC Board is responsible for developing the Corporation’s Code of Practice, which it must notify to the ACMA.The ACMA has no role in the development, review or approval of that Code. This helps preserve the ABC’s independence by effectively ensuring that there is no capacity for an external body that may be open to Government direction, as the ACMA potentially is, to influence the editorial principles that underlie the Corporation’s programming activities.

The ABC seeks to fully comply with its Code of Practice and Editorial Policies at all times. It
acknowledges, however, that, despite its best efforts, there will from time to time be perceived or actual lapses in its performance. To that end, the Corporation employs a robust and effective system for responding to and resolving complaints.

The ABC accepts written complaints in physical or electronic form. Such complaints are handled by its Audience and Consumer Affairs area in accordance with the ABC Complaints Handling Procedures, which are separate from the Editorial Policies and the Code of Practice. Audience and Consumer Affairs operates independently of the program-making areas of the Corporation and aims to achieve a timely resolution of all complaints.

Complainants who have made a complaint in relation to the Code of Practice and who do not receive a response from the ABC within 60 days, or are dissatisfied with the response they do receive, are entitled under section 150 of the BSA to refer their complaint to the ACMA for review.

In 2012–13, the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit finalised 21,280 complaints. Of the 3,177 complaint issues ultimately investigated by the unit, only 220 were upheld, suggesting a very high level of compliance with the Editorial Policies and the Code across ABC programs and services. Only 47 complaints investigated by Audience and Consumer Affairs were referred to the ACMA and, of those, only one resulted in a finding that differed from that of the ABC’s own complaints-handling processes.

Importantly, the ABC seeks to resolve complaints as soon as practicable. This is reflected in the
principle of swift corrections and clarifications in relation to inaccurate information (ABC Code,  4 principle 3). Significantly, as an outcome of the 2009–10 review, the ABC introduced a new category of complaint outcome—“resolved complaints”—to promote early and effective resolution of matters where it appears there was a lapse in standards. The Code now specifies that a failure to comply with the Code will not constitute a breach if, prior to a complaint being referred to the ACMA, the Corporation has taken steps that are adequate and appropriate in all the circumstances to redress the cause of the complaint (ABC Code, III).

The ABC publishes summaries of upheld and resolved complaints on its website.

I hope that this information will be of some assistance to the ACMA in developing its contemporary community standards framework. Should you have any further questions, please contact me by email at [email protected] or by phone on (02) 8333 2311.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Millett
Director of Corporate Affairs

The ACMA website tells us that if ACMA upholds a complaint against the ABC:

37. What about the ABC and SBS?

The ACMA’s enforcement powers in regard to the ABC and SBS are different from those it has in respect of other broadcasters.The ACMA can recommend by written notice that the ABC or SBS take some specific action in relation to the breach and complaint.If the relevant broadcaster fails to act on that recommendation within 30 days, the ACMA may report that failure to the Minister.

It seems to me that the odds are loaded in the ABC's favour.   What effective sanctions can apply to it?  The mechanism for review of an internal ABC decision is for the complainant to refer the matter to the ACMA and ACMA "may" refer its finding and recommendation to the Minister.

The nett effect is that the controls only apply effectively, or with teeth, to the commercial operators.   That means that only the conservative voice faces controls on matters like "exaggeration".

So 10 metre high ocean level rises, earthquakes caused by climate change, misquotes alleging Tony Abbott called asylum seekers irritants etc all go unchecked.  But woe betide the conservative host who misquotes a fact or figure.

Our regulatory regime is doing us a great disservice.