Australia’s Right to Know submission to the PJCIS inquiry into freedom of the press
The Australia’s Right to Know coalition of media organisations (of which MEAA is a member) submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press.
“The catalyst for this Inquiry is the raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst and the headquarters of the ABC in Sydney on June 4 and 5, 2019 regarding stories published and broadcast in April 2018 and July 2017 respectively. Recently it has also been publicly revealed that the AFP was planning – but did not execute – a raid on News Corp Australia’s Sydney headquarters on June 6, 2019. We also note that in a similar timeframe 2GB’s Ben Fordham told listeners to his program that up to six boats could have been making the journey from Sri Lanka to Australia and that information had come from a senior source in Home Affairs. Shortly after revealing this on air his producer received a call from an official from the Department of Home Affairs, said an investigation would commence as a result of the information becoming public and asked Mr Fordham to assist in the investigation. He was also told the source of the information was the target, not Mr Fordham himself. This is illustrative of a pattern of behaviour that is not just limited to the AFP raids.”