Independent Media Inquiry

Media Release

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity

Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today released the Report of the Independent Media Inquiry.

The Independent Inquiry into Media and Media Regulation was undertaken by Former Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, Mr Ray Finkelstein QC, with the assistance of Dr Matthew Ricketson, Professor of Journalism at Canberra University.

“I’d like to thank Mr Finkelstein QC and Professor Ricketson and their team for their efforts. I would also like to thank all the individuals and organisations that contributed to the Inquiry,” Senator Conroy said.

The Report has been forwarded to the Convergence Review Committee for its consideration.

“The Government will take a considered approach to the Inquiry’s report in conjunction with the Convergence Review before responding,” Senator Conroy said.

The Convergence Review is taking a broad look at range of regulatory issues across the broadcasting, telecommunications and radio-communications sectors and is on track to present its final report to Government by 31 March 2012.

The Inquiry’s Report is available at:

Date: 2 March 2012
Contact: Suzie Brady 0408 258 457

There is much to read about the Media Inquiry so I’ve posted it to a separate page here without comment as it’s a very long read.

76 comments on “Independent Media Inquiry

  1. Mumbrella ‘s comments:-

    Press inquiry calls for mega watchdog to run ‘enforced selfregulation’ across all media including bloggers
    Newspapers should no longer be allowed to run the Australian Press Council because it allowed standards to decline and failed to keep the public’s trust, the government’s inquiry into the press has concluded. It has instead called for a government funded body it suggests calling the News Media Council which will attempt to regulate all media include online.Even bloggers, apart from sites that have less than 1250 page views per month would be covered.

    The Independent Media Inquiry, run by Ray Finkelstein, concluded: “Ordinarily, the preferred option would be self-regulation. But in the case of newspapers, selfregulation by code of ethics and through the APC has not been effective.

  2. Pip, that sounds to be a good move because at present some blogs can and do put forward lies and distortions proporting these to be factual information. Hence the need to put in links or to ensure that the reader is clear that it is opinion only.

  3. True Min, there are many, many blogs which neither provide links nor state that it is opinion only.

    It’s a good thing that’s not our style. 🙂

    The report is a long read which I hope to catch up on sometime soon. 😦

  4. Yes Pip, spot on it’s definitely the Young Liberals Big Day Out..who else would jump to the defence of the ‘impartial’ media.

  5. And who was the silly twist who said, What about Facebook.

    I guess that the answer to that one would would be fairly clear that FB was a person or organisation’s opinion.

  6. “Even bloggers, apart from sites that have less than 1250 page views per month would be covered”

    does the Cafe Whispers reach this lofty level?

    lunalava (currently in St Helen’s Tasmania enjoying the sunshine).

    Able was I ere I saw Elba (see Napoleon Bonaparte and Palindromes)

  7. In which case, I declare that I have not now, nor ever in the past, used an “unnamed source” to justify my lies.
    Can the MSM make this statement?

  8. We have that on most days, lunalava. Don’t go by the number of hits, as this doesn’t include the clicks from the site’s authors or administrators, which includes your good self.

    It doesn’t take long for them to add up, even if the site only has 20 regulars. If those 20 people click the threads or comments in a site say at a rate of 100 each a day – which is not uncommon – then the site will have close to three quarters of a million hits a year from them alone.

    Can you imagine how many hits this site would have if mine, Min’s, Cu’s, Pip’s and even Nasking’s clicks had have been recorded. Crikey, Nasking would have chalked up a quarter of a million himself.

    If I were the only author and administrator our hits would have passed one million many months ago. But I’m glad I’m not going solo in this venture. 🙂

  9. From the ABC:

    Here is the what the independent inquiry states:

    It has found the way the media is regulated lacks the accountability required by a democracy.

    And here is the Opposition:

    But Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says he does not think a super-regulator is in the interests of press freedom.

    But Turnbull, since when did accountability and freedom of the press become mutually exclusive…

  10. since when did accountability and freedom of the press become mutually exclusive…

    Since the ‘freedom of the press’ has accounted for almost all of the oppositons attacks on the Government, be they factual or not.

    From what I have heard, the main requirement is for outlets to correct their istakes. What a shocking thought. No wonder the oo is up in arms about it, it will instantly double the size of their paper, new stories in the front half, corrections from yesterdays release in the back half.

  11. So my 2 cents worth. Declare all 600 jobs at the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) vacant as they have done nothing of any consequence since they were set up by the Liberal Party.

    Reappoint those that support a balanced media (IPA definition of a pinko left wing academic would be OK).

    Create a new department with the brief of reviewing online, print and broadcast media – give it teeth. Front page lies pictures of Pauline Hansen’s (not) boobs require a front page apology.when proved to be bullshit.
    Unnamed sources must be named or the journalist can be called a liar

    No stories published without a by line of who wrote it with their background and email right of reply.

    Serious (as in career ending) consequences for unconscionable conduct established bias, misleading reports etc Journalists like Glenn Milne, Sideshow Samantha Maiden and Misshallow Gratton should be called to account for their lies…

  12. Unnamed sources to carry a Disclaimer that the newspaper cannot guarantee the truthfulness or otherwise of the statement.

    That is, it’s fine to have an unnamed source but the way that journalists have a habit of expressing it is in a wink, wink, nudge, nudge sort of way which implies that it’s The Truth but we can’t tell you who the person is. However, an unnamed source could by My great aunt Fanny!

  13. lunalava,
    Serious (as in career ending) consequences for unconscionable conduct established bias, misleading reports etc Journalists like Glenn Milne, Sideshow Samantha Maiden and Misshallow Gratton should be called to account for their lies…

    Slugger Maiden first cab off the rank…. the not-a-fashion-plate-herself fashion critic.

    Glenn Milne… has anyone seen him lately… ……good!

    Michelle Grattan should think about retiring after her efforts in the last few years; she’s now making a fool of herself.

    What about keeping this simple and declaring vacant 99% of the journalists’ and editors’ positions at ltd news.

    Instant improvement guaranteed.

  14. I must, out of interest, have a look at Canada’s media laws. I understand they have a code of honesty, or something like that, that prohibits the media from straying from the truth. Is it any surprise that Murdoch has no media interests in Canada?

  15. Miglo @ 12.55

    oh boo hoo journos. isn’t it a shame that journos are more interested in holding a job
    “Mr Warren says the inquiry should have investigated how to stop so many journalists being laid off rather than creating a new organisation to regulate their work.”

    Now if journos had actually reported, rather than written never ending opinions……….

  16. It is an honest press we want.

    The last few days effort by the press prove how far they are prepared to go in their dishonesty and lies.

    I had the misfortune yesterday to buy the Telegraph. I buy it on the rare occasions that I travel for three or four hours. I like to fill in the time doing the crosswords.

    Except for the story about Mr. O’Farrell taking away from schools, the Principals control of their bank accounts, the whole paper was dedicated to “get Julia”

    We have had reports of what has occurred in Canberra, which are complete fantasy.

    As Mr. Cassidy said, when the PM appeared with Mr. Carr in tow, jaws dropped.

    The biggest stuff up on their behalf were the stories about what Mr. Smith was say, doing or thinking. No notice was taken in regard of what those who knew him said, that this is not how the man behaves or thinks. No regard given to what the man said. That is no one has entitlements in public life, therefore he had no entitlement to any job.

    I suggest to the media they just report what people are saying and doing. Not what they think they are doing. They will get less egg on their face that way

    I could not believe that Ms. Bishop felt free to call the PM a slimy liar and more at a media interview. She must have got carried away with the hubris of her speech, the previous day. A speech that was describe as wonderful by the media.

    No all they have to do is be honest. Cannot be that hard.

  17. It’s a sad state of affairs when the media describes an inflammatory rant in Parliament ‘wonderful’. What they really want to say, is its wonderful that the PM was abused.

  18. So bloggers are now an accepted part of the media landscape. I suspected this would eventually happen over here. In America some bloggers are even eligible for press passes.

  19. Finkelstein inquiry report cause for ‘cautious optimism’

    It was a pleasant surprise that the independent Australian media inquiry, examining print, online and the role of the self-regulatory body, the Australian Press Council, was, for the most part, a satisfying document.

    It was hard to know what this Inquiry might deliver, given the political events leading up to its announcement. Its timing was in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that closed Britain’s News of the World. Closer to home Greens’ Leader Bob Brown was sparring with News Limited journalists collectively labelling them the “hate media”; while, Prime Minister Julia Gillard waged her own battle with Murdoch’s Australian accusing it of publishing a false report about her “in breach of all known standards of journalism”. Her message was “don’t write crap”.

  20. Campaign reporting

    On “the narrative”
    Mar 1st 2012,

    JAY ROSEN, a journalism professor at NYU, has coined a useful term, “Möbius strip journalism”, which he defines as “Reporting on an event the meaning of which is determined by how the event is reported. When the narrators speak of ‘the narrative’ as something that goes of itself.”

    I share Mr Rosen’s frustration with political journalists’ habit of implicitly denying our role in crafting “the narrative”, though I think it’s fairly easy to understand what’s going on. The logic of collective action accounts for the twist in the Möbius strip. “The narrative” is the emergent product of an informal consensus among journalists and commentators. If each journalist is disposed to tell the story a different way, no consensus will emerge and there will be no one dominant narrative.But if, having bantered with other members of the press at the hotel bar (or on Twitter) the night before, it becomes clear how others are going to report the story, then there is really a fact of the matter about “the narrative” which exists more or less independently of one’s own opinion and reporting.

  21. Migs, it seems not that long ago that we didn’t even exist..this was irrespective of the fact that people such as Tim Dunlop and George Megathingy had been blogging for a very long time.

    The MSM tried, especially, I think it was mid year last year to say that NO BLOG was worth bat shit.

    It’s no different to any media, some blogs are equivalent to Toddlers and Tantrums, some decide to write about things which aren’t necessarily in the newws..irrespective of how many hits, just because it’s a cause worth fighting for.

    That reminds me of a song: Everything I do, I do it for you.

  22. But Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says he does not think a super-regulator is in the interests of press freedom.

    To paraphrase Malvolio:

    “But Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says he does not think a super-regulator is in the interests of press bias to the Liars Party.”

    Front page lies pictures of Pauline Hansen’s (not) boobs require a front page apology.when proved to be bullshit.

    Or indeed any other lies and distortions about government policy, the PM and her team, the economy and stimulus programs such as HIP and BER.

    As lunalava says, give any regulatory body teeth the size of an adult T Rex and the will to sink them into the likes of the Murdochracy and their running dogs on radio and TV. Naming and shaming and bring back the stocks for the likes of Anal, Hadley and their ilk!

    ……all they have to do is be honest. Cannot be that hard.

    Impossible on both counts, CU.

  23. Media regulation? How dare elected representatives of the public question our media billionaires!

    Whatever problems there might be with the specific recommendations of the Media Inquiry, it seems that we’re not going to get any competent coverage of the subject from the commercial media.

    Instead, we’re going to get ranting based on the assumption that ANY regulation of the media by ANY government-funded body is TOTALITARIAN CENSORSHIP that is about SILENCING THE ORDINARY PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA. As if the better representatives of our interests are corporate media behemoths owned and run by billionaires, rather than the people we actually elect to represent us. As if any government-funded body must be innately pro-government, which of course is why the High Court rubber-stamped Julia Gillard’s plan to swap refugees with Malaysia.

  24. Gerard Henderson has an opinion about many topics and hosts his
    Sydney Institute for others to air their views, so I would have thought he would leap at the chance to take part in the Independent Media Inquiry.

    Inside the tent … .. rather than outside the tent … …

    Lawyers and academics propose more regulation? It’s hardly news
    March 6, 2012.
    Gerard henderson

    In November, I wrote that I had declined an invitation to express an interest in participating in the public hearings of the independent inquiry into the media headed by Ray Finkelstein, QC, with assistance from Matthew Ricketson.

    My reasons were many and varied. Principally, I did not see any valid reason for the expenditure of taxpayers’ money on an inquiry into the private sector print media, including online publications. I was also sceptical about inquiries into the present that make recommendations about the future and are run by lawyers who have no first-hand experience of the subject of their investigations. Finkelstein worked as a solicitor, a barrister and a public servant before being appointed to the Federal Court of Australia. He has never worked in the media.

    Mr. Henderson has made it very clear in most of his writings that he isn’t
    impressed by “left-wing” academics or anything “left-wing” for that matter.
    In addition he doesn’t seem at all happy about the Inquiry being headed by Ray Finkelstein, QC; because Mr. Finkelstein QC “has never worked on the media”.

    According to Finkelstein, members of the council should be appointed by a committee headed by “three senior academics”. Why not butchers, or bakers or candlestick makers? Finkelstein does not say. However, a hint to his thinking is contained in the report’s introduction. It points out that, since much work had to be done in a short time, it was “necessary to appoint a team to assist with aspects of the report”. It turns out that Finkelstein’s team consisted mainly of left-wing academics and some barristers along with two Monash University law students. Enough said.

    It’s hard to imagine that “right-wing” academics or lawyers heading up an Independent Media Inquiry would be subjected to the same criticism from Mr. Henderson, in fact it’s impossible to imagine any right-wing supporters finding any fault with the present media.

  25. Robert Manne has a good article on the Drum at the moment which reveals (again) the depths the oo pliunge in order to push their ideology. It is a frightening account of the manner in which it get’s information, and then distorts the findings to portray individuals in the worst light

    Even Higgins’s questions to me suggested that he did not understand the ARC Grant system. I told him that the two research grants had by no means been used exclusively for the Quarterly Essays but had been the research foundation for a very large number of different kinds of publication.

    I would assume that this higgin’s character is well aware how grants are handled. But, as is often the case with the denialiti, they prefer to conflate ‘Grants’ with ‘Salary’. And leave that impression unchallenged.

    The comment from “Member for Goldman Sachs :” is quite illuminating also

  26. It truly is abhorrent the way that murdoch and his little lap dogs pursue anyone who disagree with their world view. What the oo does is not investigative reporting, it is witch hunts, pure and simle. And their targets are anyone who does not agree with them.

    Which, is all fine an dandy if you have a free and open press. we don’t don’t. We have a press dominated by one man, and jounalists who are all (well, maybe not all) afraid to stand up to him.

    This is just an example of why that might be the case.

    I am currently having a little ‘discussion’ at another ‘blog’ about the dangers of getting you information from one place, and taking the opinions of their ‘authors’ as some kind of replacement for facts. It is this kind of partisan cheering, and selective cherry-picking of facts, which is a true danger to a democratic process.

  27. I am currently having a little ‘discussion’ at another ‘blog’ about the dangers of getting you information from one place, and taking the opinions of their ‘authors’ as some kind of replacement for facts. It is this kind of partisan cheering, and selective cherry-picking of facts, which is a true danger to a democratic process.

    Tom, I’d expect you find the debates here much more stimulating.

  28. I’d expect you find the debates here much more stimulating.

    True, but the nature of replies, and the way they mimic the opinions of the writers at the oz, irrespective of the facts, is illuminating though.


    Please don’t mention the floating of the dollar as that was also Coalition policy many moons ago, you’ll recall, long before Keating ever raised the notion. Let’s give credit where it’s due, shall we.

    Who actually implemented these changes? Who is the writer crediting with them 😯

    Bloody hilarious.

    This, all in the midst of saying how great the ‘4 Pillars’ are, and trying to say it was all Costello


  29. Strangely from right wing ranters, I have yet to read any credible comment which explains why the Liberals’ so-called vision for the future amounts to anything whatsoever – plus especially, why Tony Abbott would make such an impressive Prime Minister.

  30. Min, I have not read any that say he would make one.

    There appears to be much dissent in that party. The moderates are starting to flex their muscles.

    I believe there are others who do not care what Mr. Abbott says, they will be happy to dump all he says after he has finished his job of getting the party elected.

    They will get away with this because there is no love in the community for Mr. Abbott. It appears to be more about hate for the PM.

    Why is it that Labor must take all the shit aimed at it, but never, never criticise the senders, such as the media and the Coalition.

    For an example of this, watch QT and the reactions of the Coalition when the PM or one of the ministers makes mild personal attacks.

  31. Min, you shouldn’t focus any attention on a potential alternative Government, you need to concentrate instead on their talking points, and their cherry-picked arguments that just attempt to make this highly successful (policy wise) Government look bad 😉

    It is ‘debate’ 101

  32. Tom R, the problem for the Coalition, they are talkers, Labor have been the doers.

    Being a doer has it’s own problems.

    Doing something often offends many, regardless of whether it is right or wrong.

    I am sure that Mr. Keating would agree with this.

    We have a PM who is a doer. Yesterday, for the first time, the impost that regulations have on business are being addressed for the first time.

    Most up to this time have promised to do so, but in reality added to the regulations with each so called new reform they bought.

  33. Carr reporting a new low for Canberra press gallery
    March 7, 2012 – 01:01 — Admin
    The mainstream media’s reporting of the Bob Carr appointment may have been the lowest point, so far, in Australian political reporting history, says Alan Austin.

    Disproven rumour-mongers Michelle Grattan and Dennis Shanahan above their victims, Bob Carr and Julia Gillard.
    Was last week the worst ever for false political reporting in Australia? Can anyone recall when the Canberra media pack has been more united, more vicious — and more comprehensively wrong?
    And this just as the Finkelstein inquiry has released its recommendations on governing journalistic standards. Nice timing.

    New low or continuing low.

  34. Outside Parliament, Abbott said:
    “It’s obvious that this Prime Minister was being loose with the truth in the Parliament yesterday and it’s obvious that the Prime Minister’s choice for Foreign Minister has been vetoed by the faceless men of the Labor Party.”
    No. Gillard had not been untruthful at any stage. And no, there was no veto. Those that were lying last week were Abbott and Bishop. And most of the Canberra press.
    Is it too much to hope for retractions and apologies this week? How will this impact deliberations on Mr Finkelstein’s report? We shall soon see.
    (Alan Austin is an Australian freelance journalist specialising in the media and social issues.)

  35. Cu @ 12.47pm
    Was last week the worst ever for false political reporting in Australia? Can anyone recall when the Canberra media pack has been more united, more vicious — and more comprehensively wrong?

    That’s a tough call Cu, there are so many examples….

  36. Cu, @ 12.49pm,
    Is it too much to hope for retractions and apologies this week? How will this impact deliberations on Mr Finkelstein’s report? We shall soon see.

    It will be business as usual with no apologies and many more articles decrying the unfairness of having an Independent Media Inquiry,

  37. I believe that a difference that we are now seeing is that the truth, such as with the pink batts “debacle” took a long time to be much so that once it was, the facts no longer made ‘news’. This time it took only a day or 2 for the media to be shown up for the lying hounds which many of them are.

  38. The Finkelstein inquiry said that the current honors system isn’t working, and recent events add further proof to this.

  39. That’s a tough call Cu, there are so many examples….

    The main one that springs to mind is this little ommission

    “There will be no Carbon Tax” ( But there will be a Carbon Price)

    Probably the worst case of the misrepresentation of the PM’s words to date (imo)

  40. Tom, I agree. Because of the carbon tax “lie” which wasn’t one, Tony Abbott ably backed up by the MSM have been able to perpetuate “their lie”.

  41. It really is bizarre isn’t it Min

    An accusation of a lie, that is itself built upon a lie.

    Nah, there ain’t nuffen’ wrong with our meeja 😉

  42. Daughter just read out report that the girl with the pearls has asked for a seat on the Fairfax Board…

    “just one seat??”

  43. Mr. Abbott seems to be relying on the perception that he has worked, so hard with the assistance of the media to create.

    Mr. Abbott has a very narrow base, to attack Labor and in partically the PM, which he appears to have a particular hate for.

    Mr. Abbott has his “new tax” and “carbon tax”, along with waste and a couple of meaningless statements.

    What he is relying on mostly is that the PM is incompetent and a liar.

    To do this, he has had to extend and find a new meaning for the word liar. It now means changing one’s mind.

    The word incompetence has also taken on similar meaning .

    If the media and the Opposition say often enough that the PM has once again fumbled, regardless of any evidence supporting the claim, means that the PM is incompetent.

    The truth is that the PM has not lied and is very competent.

    This PM has produced and has had passed more legalisation in her first year than most governments. The PM has doubled Mr. Howard’s output.

    Some of the legalisation has been important and ground breaking. The PM gas had success with some that Mr. Howard and Mr. Rudd were not able to deliver.

    The PM has done up to this time all she set out to od with one exception.

    That is still a work in progress. Dealing with the boat trade.

    Even here, many are quite happy with onshore processing and do not wish to see it go back to off shore,

    I believe that Labor is ahead in dealing with refugees. Mr Abbott’s solution is not seen as viable by many, especially the experts in the field.

    It is Mr. Abbott that is proven to be incompetent and the liar.

    He has manufactured mistruths about the PM, Labor and it’s policies.

    Mr. Abbott has not prevented the PM from carrying out and installing her policies since the minority government was formed. Nothing has been amended. Nothing has been put aside or abandon. This is a rarity for any PM, even in parliaments where they have the numbers.

    The minority government is as strong as ever, in spite of all his efforts to bring it down.

    There have been no ministers sacked.

    Mr. Abbott therefore incompetent and is a known liar.

    He is also leading a party that is showing deep and serious divides on the policy that Mr. Abbott is putting forwarded.

    It does not help that he is also a turkey and a clown.

  44. Min, do they make divans that strong. Maybe a bus seat would be more appropriate.

    I would like to say, if the lady did not try to manipulate the law, demanding secrecy, the case would be half over and cost less.

    One would have taken much interest or notice.

    Now we are, or at least I am, curious to know what misbehaviour her three children are accusing her of.

  45. Cu thanks for that blogotariat link. Great read, but excellent illustration. Just the faces of those four and you know who you’d believe!

  46. Patricia, the PM’s face does not look like one under siege.

    It is Mr. Abbott that has the long face these days. That confident smirk has disappeared.

    I believe body language tells one more that words.

    It the PM keeps her ministers having MC every 60 minutes, where is the time or space to fit Mr. Abbott and his antics in.

    The ministers are not only out being interviewed, they are talking about issues of substance.

    Some are a bit long, but that is of no consequences.

  47. I believe if Mr. Abbott became PM, he will be as successful and last as long as the previous big eared PM we had.

    Yes I am bias but I believe it is impossible to be any other way.

    There are no alternatives available that one could support.

  48. group-think or of like minded.

    On other sites where they all seem to agree with each other, or at least the blog master, seem to think it is wrong to do so on this site

    As they say, birds or a feather, flock together.

  49. Well, well. The noise from “the right” will be ear shattering today!


    With the departure of ABC Chairman, Mr. Maurice Newman who was former Prime Minister John Howard’s appointee….is there hope of a clear out of the Murdoch talking heads, and an adjustment to the way “news” is reported,
    ie, not a carbon copy of the world according to Rupert.

    Former judge Jim Spigelman to be appointed ABC chairman
    March 8, 2012.

    THE former chief justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, Jim Spigelman, is to be appointed chairman of the ABC.

    An announcement is expected to be made by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, today or tomorrow, sources say.

    Mr Spigelman, who retired from the bench last May, replaces the former stockbroker Maurice Newman, who stepped down at the end of last year.

    Mr Newman’s tenure at times was marked by controversy. He said journalists had succumbed to groupthink because they failed to predict the global financial crisis and his parting shot was a suggestion to merge the ABC and SBS to save money.

    Facing Mr Spigelman will be a long list of issues, the top of which is how the ABC remains relevant in a changing media landscape and its response to the government’s review on convergence in the media.

    ** Mr. Newman also controversially intervened in the climate change debate and the government’s handling of the GFC.

    ABC Chairman criticises media’s climate change coverage


    ABC chairman warms to the climate sceptics
    Julian Lee
    March 11, 2010.

    In yesterday’s speech Mr Newman said the media had failed in their reporting of the global financial crisis and of government policy. ”There were a handful of sceptics who challenged and warned of the dangerous consequences these policies presented, but the media, the consensus of experts, and the vested interests prevailed,” he told the ABC’s annual leadership conference.

    Mr. Newman was wrong in his impressions of “groupthink”, but it worked very well for him nonetheless!

  50. The incompetent and useless PM.

    My emphasis.

    You wouldn’t read about it
    March 8, 2012 – 02:28 — Admin
    Not in the Murdoch press, that is.
    Gillard and Swan are shaping to try to convince us that Labor is a good economic manager, indeed better than the alternative. Stephen Koukoulas was Gillard’s adviser for a time. Now he has written a column for the AFR with some astonishing facts.
    First, in the past 20 years the LNP brought down 12 budgets, none of which with taxes less than 22% of GDP. Labor brought down eight budgets, all with taxes below 22% of GDP.
    Second, Gillard should be able to go to the 2013 election having cut real spending in two out of three budgets. In 20 budgets the Fraser and Howard governments never achieved this.
    Third, with a bit of luck Gillard should be able to say that Labor in less than six years has presided over the creation of close to a million jobs. The vast majority of these are not in mining BTW.
    The other mob keep accusing Labor of being addicted to waste and big spending. We get that from the very same team Laura Tingle dubbed liars, klunkheads or both.

    Turns out Koukoulas runs an interesting blog. Recently he took a look at Hockey’s “absolute guarantee” that the Coalition tax take will be less than under Labor here and here. Hockey does indeed have a budget black hole problem of $70 billion or more. If we vote him in look forward to cuts in programs we regard as essential.
    On the other hand our brilliant economy has been tracking at below 3% growth for nearly four years now. Koukoulas definitely thinks the Reserve should cut interest rates and that our dollar is at least 10% too high.
    One thing is certain, there will be a budget surplus in 2012-13.

  51. Jim Spigelman will be no government lackey on ABC board

    But whether he is proactive or not, he will clearly be sympathetic to campaigning, investigative journalism, and he will be its powerful defender.

    The Power Index can’t see Spigelman bowing to political direction from Canberra, as long as journalists at the ABC get their facts right. Nor can we see him defending them to the hilt when they get those facts wrong.

    We think he’s a great choice.

  52. Cu @ 11.43am, thanks for the link.
    Hopefully the new ABC Chairman will insist on the facts being reported, which will leave less time for the talking heads who present their opinions without the benefit of truth as a back-up.

  53. Cu @11.43am. That’s when people really will have something to start complaining about. It’s going to be interesting when Tony Abbott starts dismantling the NBN..I can imagine the photos now, reflecto vest, hard hat, shovel in hand: Let ‘er rip!! These were baaad cables…

  54. Min, I hope the cameras will be directed at Abbott when the happy NBN customers step up to deal with him….

  55. One thing which received only a footnote when the findings of the report was first published was that media control in regional areas should be treated with the utmost urgency.

  56. Spigelman confirmed as new ABC chairman
    Posted March 08, 2012 19:39:48

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed James Spigelman will be the new chairman of the ABC.

    “He will lead the ABC at a time when the challenges and opportunities facing our national broadcaster have never been greater,” she said in a statement.

    “He brings a wealth of experience in the arts and culture and will build on the work of the previous chair, Maurice Newman AC, to ensure that the ABC remains at the forefront of the media in Australia.”

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