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ABC's $70k windfall

ABC's $70k windfall

ABC's $70k windfall How much money does the ABC make out of Greg Combet's Industry Super?

More than you'd think.


Off the back of a truck, Diary has obtained a copy of some correspondence from the ABC managing director David Anderson to federal Liberal senator Andrew Bragg. And it turns out Industry Super is making a pretty penny out of its fully-funded progressive media outlet, the New Daily.

The canny Anderson has managed to get the New Daily to agree to pay the ABC for a daily video segment called "News in 90 Seconds", as part of a push by Aunty to, as Mr Anderson has put it, "find revenue for our news services".

Turns out it's a nice little earner for the ABC. Anderson has told Bragg that "while the commercial value of the (ABC/New Daily) agreement is commercial in confidence", revenue for the 2019-20 financial year was somewhere just south of "$70,000".

The New Daily was founded back in 2013 by a collective of Industry Super funds, including Australian Super and Cbus, who provided an initial $6m in funding.

But after Australian Super burned through significant cash on the New Daily, it sold its initial $2m investment in the New Daily to Industry Super for nothing in 2016.

Bragg has been a vocal critic of industry super funds investing in the media, after Australian Super boss Ian Silk at one point revealed during the banking royal commission in 2018 that his fund's New Daily investment was "principally about retaining members".

Bragg's view? "This argument fails the government's sole purpose test for super funds, which mandates that their focus needs to be solely on making money for investors. But it also fails the pub test." Still, full marks to the ABC boss for taking the initiative to earn a bit of pocket money. After all, $70,000 is 14 Cartier watches worth of workers' super.

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