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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 2731

(Question No. 1385)

Senator Jessop asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 22 September 1986:

(1) Is Mr Andrew Kruger, initially a stringer for Australian Associated Press, located in New York, under contract with the ABC; if so, what are the terms of that contract.

(2) Has the ABC paid Mr Andrew Kruger any remuneration for services or expenses since he arrived in the United States; if so, what moneys have been paid, and for what services and/or expenses.

(3) Has the ABC ever paid Mr Peter Hayes, of the Nautilus Research Centre in Massachusetts, any moneys for services and/or expenses; if so how much was involved and what are the details.

(4) How many ABC staff, both full-time and part-time, are stationed in North America, and what is the cost in salaries and support for this staff.

Senator Walsh —The following answer to the honourable senator's question, based on information provided by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, has been supplied by the Minister for Communications:

(1) Mr Andrew Kruger is not under contract with the ABC. He is a freelance, covering, in the main, stories for Radio Australia on the United Nations. On occasions he has acted as a relief correspondent for ABC Domestic Radio. He also continues to freelance for Australian Associated Press.

(2) Mr Kruger began freelancing for the ABC in May 1985. He has received a total of $US34,154 for his work with Radio Australia, Radio News and Current Affairs and Radio Rural. He does not receive any expenses from the ABC.

(3) The ABC has paid Mr Peter Hayes and/or the Nautilus Research Centre the total sum of $US7,627 to provide research material for Four Corners, ABC Radio National and 2JJJ programs.

(4) In North America, the ABC has offices in New York and Washington, which accommodate 12 full-time staff:

New York : 6 Full-time staff

Washington : 6 Full-time staff

In addition, the ABC has one contract Radio Correspondent in New York and uses a number of freelance Sound Recordists and Video Editors for Television reports as the need arises. ABC Radio also uses some freelance Reporters from time to time. The three most frequently used are Andrew Kruger in New York, Bernard Mayes in San Francisco and Peter Benesh in Toronto, Canada. For the 1986-87 Financial Year, the ABC's North American Branch has the following budget: Salaries-$US452,266; Operations-$US523,050.