Pay TV industry group asks for the Australia Network tender to be re-opened
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Christian Kerr in today's The Australian.
THE pay-TV industry's peak body has called on the federal government to reopen the Australia Network contract to a competitive tender as part of its commission of audit.
The contract for the soft-diplomacy service was awarded by the Gillard government in 2011 to the ABC despite two tenders recommending it go to Sky News Australia -- a reversal later lashed by the Auditor-General.
The original request for tender documents issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade described the service as "enhancing the government's ability to pursue its broader foreign and trade policy objectives".
The ABC has been accused of failing to meet this goal in the wake of its decision to broadcast allegations Australia tapped the phone of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association has used its submission to the audit committee to call on the root-and-branch review of government functions to examine if taxpayers are getting value for money from the contract.
"There are no substantive public policy grounds that would prevent the Australia Network being reopened to competitive tender," ASTRA chief executive Andrew Maiden said.
"A competitive tender process would assure taxpayers they are receiving the best value for money.
"Further, there is no public policy reason to suggest that the ABC is uniquely placed to deliver the Australia Network service.
"The contract should be awarded to the organisation, public or private, that can most effectively and efficiently deliver the service."
Opening that tender will be like opening Stephen Conjob's lunch.
Not to be attempted at home and definitely not without being equipped with heavy duty nose-pegs, a long set of tongs and full-body protective clothing.
Mind you - I'm not saying that the deal stinks, but there are far less corrupt, less smelly things interred in bone-yards around the country than the deal by which the A.L.P.'s propaganda orifice, the A.L.P.B.C., took control of that corruptly-awarded contract.
Labor - they're so bent, they can corrupt around corners.
Posted by: Up The Workers! | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 07:07 AM
Michael BBC photographer may have been stirring for excitement in the tiger attack at Australian Zoo and immediately thought of animal liberation. Please do not publish this as only a thought bubble
Posted by: helen | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 07:34 AM
And the Commission of Audit is surely designed for exactly that request. Noice.
Posted by: Arch | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 08:10 AM
The Australian Network tender was a farce from start to finish and should be re-opened.
Posted by: Dennis Thompson | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 08:27 AM
Turnbull appears not to be in a rush to do anything about the ABC and its treachery. It is time he took them to task for the safety and security of the Country.
Posted by: Maggie | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 08:30 AM
This was a comment from Glenn which says it all. Janet Albrechtsen 26/11/13 article in The Australian, "Mark Scott should resign".
Re: Australia Network.........I am an ex-pat living in Northern Thailand and find the Australia Network a disgrace. Leftist propaganda is the theme in nearly every programme, climate change is rammed down your throat at every opportunity along with gay marriage and other issues straight out of the Labor playbook. Scheduling is erratic at best, but it is the content that appals me most. Q and A, Insiders and the news in general are all skewed to make Abbott look like the bad guy. When the Indo spying issue was broken, the ABC only reported the date, 2009, never once mentioning this took place under Rudd and Labor.....their cute way of making Abbott look like the culprit. Numerous pro Muslim programs, indigenous crusades and plenty of mindless playschool type shows dominate programming. Please Mr Turnbull, for the sake of our reputation overseas, turn this network on it's head and provide a service all Australians can appreciate and be proud of.
Posted by: hillbilly33 | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 08:45 AM
To my way of thinking the Australia Network was established to do what most other state broadcasting services do: project the messages of the government of the day. This is what the Australia Network has signally failed to do since the election. Not that it is necessary to silence the voice of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition - as long as they remain loyal.
Perhaps the Minister RESPONSIBLE could tell the Australia Network that the Government has changed, and we expect the same bias from the Network towards the current government's policies as we had to their predecessor's.
Posted by: Gordon of 2902 | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 09:43 AM
Let's send this viral.
Posted by: Michelle | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 10:03 AM
The last conservative commentator to come out of the A.L.P.B.C was Aunty Jack.
Time to send old aunty around to Mark Scott's and rip his bloody arms off.
Posted by: Arch | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 10:41 AM
My wife & I are regular visitors to Thailand, twice a year & just returned in early November. I agree with the remarks above. The March & October trips, the only English Speaking TV available was the Australian network.
Please open this contract up for a more balanced & entertaining coverage. One gets sick of Bananas in Pyjamas to get away from Insiders etc.
Posted by: Bundy Kev | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 11:07 AM
I wonder if Billious Shorten will support the Commission of Audit should they call another tender.
Posted by: Rob Greer | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 12:52 PM
Looks like there is more than one way to skin a cat without being accused of political interference. The Government could come out of this with more much needed money in its pocket to spend on the education and health reforms and the ABC will have its empire reduced by a couple of hundred under employed staff. Glenn of Northern Thailand might get some decent programs then.
Posted by: seeker of truth | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 01:07 PM
I'm in Sth Korea and I really despise Australia Network. Left wing ABC shows. Weird programming times, and an awful dark looking less than SD quality broadcast - bad for eyesight (every other of the 300+ channels is bright, clear and HD at least)
Posted by: NeoSeoul | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 01:45 PM
Sky is not much better than the ABC six of one half a dozen of the other. The Sky Presenters are rude to anyone not from the left - ask them a question then talk over the top of them when they answer is one of the worst. Their questions are for the most anti Abbott and the government - more time is given to the left etc etc. The problem is the culture of journalism in Australia - free thinkers are far and few between most just toe the company line (so to speak) be it ABC or Sky.
Posted by: FB of Perth | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 02:30 PM
The ABC clearly breached their tender conditions. They should have it taken from them, simple as that!
Posted by: Diesel | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 05:30 PM
ASTRA's chief executive Andrew Maiden is A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW...
... SO SAY ALL OF US !!!!!
We need to do all we can to encourage the right action based on his submission.
Posted by: bert albert | Thursday, 28 November 2013 at 05:57 PM
Posted by: Law 'n Order | Friday, 29 November 2013 at 03:19 AM
Yes, the old Aunty Jack was obviously a foundation member of "Emily's List".
I wouldn't mind seeing Aunty Jack give a little of the "Emily's List" treatment to the A.L.P.B.C.
Posted by: Up The Workers! | Friday, 29 November 2013 at 06:52 AM