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Australia Network tender process cancelled

Tuesday 08 Nov 2011
Leaks from the media have forced the Australian government to kill off the tender process for the Australia Network contract, ABC News reports.

Australia Network

Federal police have been called in to find the source of the leaks, which detailed confidential bids to run the government’s international television service.

The ABC currently hosts the service, which is designed to showcase Australia’s democratic values to TV viewers in the Asia Pacific, but it was competing with Sky News to retain it.

After it was delayed for six months, Communication Minister Stephen Conroy announced the decision to scrap the Australia Network tender process yesterday.

The leaks suggested a panel with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s backing had recommended taking the contract from the ABC and giving it to Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News.

The ABC will keep operating the service until August next year while the government resolves the issue.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott welcomed the decision to extend the ABC’s contract.

“The corporation appreciates the opportunity to discuss with the government the future role international broadcasting can play across the region,” he said.