Percentage Players

Percentage Players

June 1994

© Commonwealth of Australia 1994

ISBN 0 642 20335 0

N.B. All files are in PDF format. To view or print the report, you will require the Acrobat PDF reader®, which can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe.

View the report as a single document - (PDF format) - 13,971 KB

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

TABLE OF CONTENTS - (PDF format)

PART I: THE INQUIRY

Chapter 1: Introduction - (PDF format)
The establishment of the Senate Select Committee
The background to the 1991 bids for John Fairfax Ltd
The 1991 Parliamentary inquiry into the print media
Political lobbying by parties to the Fairfax bidding process
The structure of the Tourang bid for Fairfax
The restructuring of Tourang
Criticism of the role of the Foreign Investment Review Board
The 1993 decision to increase The Telegraph's shareholding in Fairfax
Structure of this report

Chapter 2: Conduct of the Inquiry - (PDF format)
Significance and appropriateness of the inquiry
Procedural considerations
Written submissions
The list of witnesses
Use of the committee's power to summons witnesses
Claim of public interest immunity by the Treasurer
Justified or unwarranted secrecy
Sub-judice matters
Conclusion

PART II: THE PERCENTAGE PLAYERS: THE 1991 AND 1993 DECISIONS

Chapter 3: The 1991 Decisions - Part 1 - (PDF format)
Background to the decisions
John Fairfax Group prior to receivership
The Fairfax auction process
The players in detail
Receiver and manager
Advisers to the receiver and manager - Baring Brothers Burrows (Barings)
The bidders in the auction
Australian Independent Newspapers
Independent Newspapers plc
Tourang
The bidders' evidence to the committee
AIN
Errors of fact and analysis in FIRB Minute and inappropriateness of FIRB's procedures
Antagonism towards AIN
The 'national interest' and definition of control in foreign investment proposals
INP
INP's FIRB experiences
INP's bid for an increased share in APN
Tourang

Chapter 3: The 1991 Decisions - Part 2- (PDF format)
Who said what at the meeting of 18 July 1991?
Mr Packer's withdrawl
Tourang II's application to FIRB
Prime Minister Mr Hawke
Ministerial freedom
Mr Hawke and Mr Black
Treasurers
Mr Keating
Mr Kerin
Mr Willis
Mr Willis - outstanding questions
Mr Dawkins
FIRB
FIRB's treatment of AIN
Questions for Mr George Pooley
Questions for Mr Tony Hinton
Questions for Dr Darryl Roberts
FIRB's request to Barings on 6 December 1991 for information about AIN
'National interest' - does FIRB know what it is that it's advising on?
FIRB guidelines
Release of confidential information- how did Mr Black know what the FIRB recommendation to the Treasurer was?
Conclusion

Chapter 4: The 1993 Decision - (PDF format)
Introduction
Background
FIRB procedures
Treasurer Dawkins
Conclusion

PART III: BALANCED COVERAGE

Chapter 5: Considerations Relating to the Content of Newspapers - (PDF format)
Conversations between Mr Keating and Mr Black
The term 'balance' in the discussions
The meaning of 'balance'
Key points of agreement regarding the conversations
'Balance' as editorial control over journalists
The first element - the exercise of editorial control at Fairfax
The second element - balance as general bias/partisanship in political coverage
The third element - balance, national interest and cultural identity

Chapter 6: Propriety - (PDF format)
Interactions between governments and the media - previous experience
Summary of overseas practices
The United Kingdom
Canadian Reports
US approaches
Australian inquiries
Balance and the propriety of Mr Keating's actions

PART IV: FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND THE FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD

Chapter 7: Foreign Investment Policies in Australia - (PDF format)
Overview of foreign investment policy
The need for a foreign investment regime
Community expectations
Australia's obligations to the international community
History of foreign investment in Australia
FIRB's jurisdiction
Foreign investment policy for the media
Cross media rules
Canwest - control and influence
Foreign investment policy for newspapers
Sources to ascertain government policies relating to newspapers
Newspaper policy in the 1990s
Conclusion

Chapter 8: Foreign Investment Administration in Australia - (PDF format)
FIRB's functions are advisory
FIRB as a non-statutory body
The FIRB and the foreign investment branch of treasury
Past FIRB experience in assessing newspaper applications
Change in the culture of FIRB overtime
Features of the FIRB regulatory system
Application guiedlines under FIRB
Comparison of FIRB with other regulatory or review agencies
Testing the validity and accuracy of information
FIRB record keeping and internal processes
The committee's view of FIRB guidelines

Chapter 9: The FIRB dilemma - (PDF format)
Introduction
The government's right to govern
Versus the public's right to know
What is wrong with the FIRB model
Problems in the design and operation of FIRB
FIRB as a processor of applications
FIRB and print media policy
Accountability
The way forward is to start again

Chapter 10: A Revamped FIRB - (PDF format)
Overview
Basic aims of foreign investment policy
Restructure of the system
Setting the legislative scene
Getting the administering agency right
Review of FIC decisions
FIC's communications strategy

PART V: VIEWS EXPRESSED BY DR HEWSON

Chapter 11: The Views Expressed to Mr Conrad Black by Dr Hewson - (PDF format)

DISSENTING REPORT - THE FAIRFAX INQUIRY: A PARLIAMENTARY BLACK HOLE

Introduction - (PDF format)

Chapter 1: Conduct of the Inquiry - (PDF format)

Chapter 2: Public Interest Immunity - (PDF format)

Chapter 3: Foreign Investment Policy and Procedures - (PDF format)

Chapter 4: Balanced Coverage - (PDF format)

Reservation by Senator Kernot - (PDF format)

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Terms of Reference - (PDF format)

Appendix B: List of Written Submissions - (PDF format)

Appendix C: List of Witnesses - (PDF format)

Appendix D: Clerk's Advice on the Compulsion of Witnesses - (PDF format)

Appendix E: Opinion of Mr D Jackson QC - (PDF format)

Appendix F: Further Opinion of Mr David Jackson QC - (PDF format)

Appendix G: FIRB Minute of 5 December 1991 - (PDF format)

Appendix H: Opinion of Mr Tony Morris QC - (PDF format)

Appendx I: Clerk's Advice on Sub-judice - (PDF format)

Appendx J: References - (PDF format)

Appendix K: Treasurer's Letters re: Public Interest Immunity - (PDF format)

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