ABC, SBS duck for cover on taxpayer rip-off

by | Feb 20, 2017 | Despatch, Government

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie and SBS boss Michael Ebeid have refused to answer questions about their media organisations freeloading on the public purse.

Towering cheek II: billion dollar squatters

Following revelations at michaelwest.com.au that the TV networks were failing to pay “co-user” fees to NSW Crown Lands, spokespeople for Ebeid and Guthrie said they had outsourced their transmission to BAI Communications, an ex-Macquarie Bank operation.

It was therefore not their concern, they said, and advised that we contact their service provider BAI. BAI chief executive Jim Hassell has refused repeated requests for interview. BAI had earlier claimed the story was inaccurate and demanded it be taken down.

BAI books hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from its arrangements with the national broadcasters but refuses to pay its rents in accordance with IPART recommendations. Meanwhile the NSW Volunteer Rescue Service and other smaller organisations pay their co-user fees.

The Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield has also gone into hiding, his PR people refusing to return phone calls and emails.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael West

Michael West

Michael West established michaelwest.com.au to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelWestBiz.

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