This story in the Australian caught my eye this morning:
A new row has erupted between the ABC and the government over an investigation into allegations raised by sacked managing director Michelle Guthrie as the national broadcaster prepares to face a hostile grilling at Senate estimates.
ABC acting chair Kirstin Ferguson has refused a request from Communications Minister Mitch Fifield to reveal the scope or time frames of an investigation into problems Ms Guthrie raised with the organisation’s board the day before she was sacked.
In a letter on October 15 to Ms Ferguson, Senator Fifield sought advice on “what the Board intends to do to address the issues that have been raised and measures being taken to ensure the ongoing stability of ABC operations”.
As the ABC’s acting managing director David Anderson prepares to front a tense Senate estimates committee on Tuesday, Ms Ferguson has effectively cast the letter as an attack on the ABC’s independence in a response to Senator Fifield that will further inflame an increasingly bitter dispute over alleged political interference.
“It is not appropriate for me, or any director, to make any comment regarding the investigation, including its scope or time frame,” Ms Ferguson wrote. “To do so would potentially breach our fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the ABC.”
According to sources, the response was not well received by ministers. Senator Fifield declined a request for comment.
Yes. Well. That is the same Kirstin Ferguson that the government has just appointed as acting Chairman.
Let this be a lesson to you Mitch – you screw your enemies where and when you can, and not just when they need screwing.