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“Cash for Comment” Inquiry: Flint Gives Interview To Laws

Professor David Flint, chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, and prominent monarchist, is under pressure following a radio interview with John Laws this week.

Flint was responding to comments made about him by the former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. Flint is also presiding over an inquiry into the conduct of Laws and Sydney radio station 2UE. There have been calls from the Opposition for Flint to stand down from the inquiry on the grounds that he has compromised his position and has a conflict of interest.

The Australian Broadcasting Authority’s hearing into the so-called “cash for comment” scandal is adjourned for this week.

The public hearing commenced on October 20 and is investigating the arrangements entered into by John Laws and Alan Jones, and whether this affects radio station 2UE’s compliance with the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice.

At the hearing last Friday, Laws and 2UE station manager, Mr. Conde, differed over whether Conde told Laws that arrangements relating to personal contracts with advertisers “did not apply” to Laws. Media observers believe that Laws’ position at 2UE has now become untenable.

The inquiry is of interest to students studying pressure group activity in Australia for what it shows about the methods some interest groups, such as the Australian Bankers Association, are prepared to adopt to promote their commercial and political interests.