SUCCESS IS NOT A SIN
In late 2017, a political deal was struck that could have seen the ABC punished for doing its job.
In an odd marriage of convenience, the Turnbull Government agreed to give One Nation leader Pauline Hanson an inquiry into the ABC in return for her support of changes to media ownership laws.
While the self-interest of both parties was clear, there was a real risk the national broadcaster would be significantly damaged in what became an inquiry into the competitive neutrality of the ABC and SBS.
Competitive neutrality says an organisation should not enjoy undue competitive advantage because it is government-funded.
In its submission to the inuiry, ABC Alumni said there is no evidence the ABC has taken undue advantage of its government ownership.
"The ABC operates on a more efficient and cost-effective basis than commercial media organisations, while being subject to the highest and most rigorously policed standards of any media organisation in Australia," the submission said.
It asks if the competitive neutrality doctrine is an effective way of evaluating an organisation like the ABC.
ABC Alumni says the ABC continues to provide top-quality services, particularly those which commercial operators have broadly failed to provide or which they have withdrawn.
In December 2018, the inquiry chair, Robert Kerr reported that both ABC and SBS are operating in a manner consistent with the principles of competitive neutrality.