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Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Page: 2781

Australia Network

(Question No. 528)


Ms Julie Bishop asked the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 18 August 2011:

Has he or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from his department and/or consultants regarding the expansion of the Australia Network into the Middle East and North Africa and its impact on the Network's penetration rates in Asia and/or the Pacific; if so, (a) on what date, and (b) can he indicate the nature of this advice.


Dr Emerson: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

In the period since Ms Julie Bishop submitted Questions on Notice 513 to 529 on 18 August 2011, the Government terminated the Australia Network tender process due to significant leaks of confidential information to the media and referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police for investigation. The Auditor-General has also decided to conduct a performance audit of the administration of the Australia Network tender processes. As the Questions on Notice go to matters being considered by the Australian Federal Police and Australian National Audit Office, it would not be appropriate to comment.