ABC exodus from Pyrmont to Parramatta: what’s the scam?

by | Aug 5, 2022 | What's the scam?

It was a Coalition idea. Aunty’s getting a new home in Parramatta and former news boss Gaven Morris has landed the plumb consulting gig. What’s the scam?

The scam is the consultancy deal appears to have been un-tendered. Gaven Morris, only weeks after leaving his role at the ABC to become CEO of Bastion Transforms, has been awarded a contract to advise on the ABC’s newsroom relocation to Parramatta. 

We asked the ABC about the tender, or lack of, and got this:

“The ABC, like other government agencies, sometimes uses external consultants when appropriate to ensure the success of significant and specialised projects. Whenever the ABC uses a consultancy, all policies and guidelines are met. Bastion is among the consultancies the ABC has worked with in the past. This move will require specialised technological design features to ensure the potential site meets the requirements of our content makers. The planning and successful completion of this move means consultation not only with relevant ABC teams and managers, but also external advice and expertise.”

No sign of a tender there. It’s very much in the tradition of rising Coalition public handouts to corporations without a tender, and the ABC is a corporation, so there!

In a media statement from last year, former Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher under ScoMo said that the relocation was “a good first step” because “Sydney is not Australia and Ultimo is not Sydney”.

So, reassuringly, the move has nothing to do with governmental pressure and more to do with connecting with Westies, or as Sky News calls them, “The Quiet Australians”.

James is studying a bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney. He is a producer at 2SER radio and contributor at UTS’s Central News.

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