Channel 9 morning television personality Karl Stefanovic tweeted on August 3rd, the following:
“The @GBRFoundation deserves and will use every cent in its arsenal to save the reef. I’ve no doubt their research into reef dna [sic] and conservation is the key. Let’s give them supporting space to prove it.”
That he seems not to know what he is talking about makes one suspicious of his motives. It apparently also made Labor Senator Kristina Keneally suspicious, so she did a bit of digging.
It turns out that for Stefanovic’s morning television show’s 35thanniversary in June 2017, they embarked on a ‘we Love Australia’ road trip up the east coast. You’ll never guess which organisation was one of the sponsors for this week-long adventure; the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Nowhere did Stefanovic declare a conflict of interest.
A month later (July 2017), Stefanovic again travelled to the Great Barrier Reef, about which Kristina Keneally tweeted:
“Have a look who sponsored @karlstefanovic’s trip to the Great Barrier Reef so he could interview their Chairman’s Panel member Deloitte live on air. Yep. You guessed it. The @GBRFoundation”
“Deloitte is a member of the @GBRFoundation Chairman’s Panel. They pay $20k a year to have their brand associated with the Great Barrier Reef.”
This might be small beer in the scheme of things (does anyone watch morning commercial television?), but it exemplifies the concerns many people have with regard to the takeover of Fairfax by Channel 9.