The commonly accepted choice between a stuff-up or a stitch-up is to go with the stuff-up. Anyone reading the Auditor-General’s report into Labor’s botched tender for the Australia Network television service will reject that accepted wisdom and conclude a stitch-up was more likely.
While the Australia Network may be Australia’s soft diplomacy channel into the Asia-Pacific, Labor’s internal wrangling over who should produce this service has involved anything but soft diplomacy. A needless internal power game saw the most senior figures in the government face-off over the future direction of the Australia Network.
Sadly, Labor wasn’t content to just battle it out amongst each other. The owners of Sky News and the ABC were dragged into the fray as proxies in a war over a contract that need not have gone to tender in the first place.
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