Correction to misquotation by Larry Schlesinger (Australian Financial Review)

Misquotation of the ADA concerning the Senate Inquiry into Defence Housing Australia and a reference to the AFP by the Department of Finance concerning an aspect of DHA operations.


29 March 2016
Australian Financial Review
("DHA police inquiry raises spectre of privatisation sale", 29 March 2016, p2)

As a result of the ADA notifying a misquotation in an Australian Financial Review article concerning Defence Housing Australia (see email below) a quote by the ADA in the on-line version of this article was consequently corrected to read:

Australia Defence Association executive director Neil James noted there was "widespread concern" the AFP investigation would divert attention away from the contradictory reasons given at last week's Senate hearing for Mr Howman's sudden departure.*

*This article has been amended. An earlier version said, incorrectly,  that Mr James "claimed the AFP investigation was so that the Finance  Department could divert attention away from the contradictory reasons given at  last week's Senate hearing for Mr Howman's sudden departure".

The on-line version may be found at http://www.afr.com/real-estate/dha-police-inquiry-raises-spectre-of-privatisation-sale-20160328-gns7ag#ixzz44LEhHs2s 

 


Email to Larry Schlesinger

Copied to Michael Stutchbury (Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Financial Review)

 

Dear Larry,

Thank you for consulting the ADA during your research for the article on DHA in today's Australian Financial Review (28 Mar 16, p2).

You have, however, unfortunately misquoted the ADA with the damaging result that the meaning of my comment has been substantially changed.

The misquotation is:

“Australia Defence Association executive director, Neil James, claimed the AFP investigation was so that the Finance Department could divert attention away from the contradictory reasons given at last week’s Senate hearing for Mr Howman’s sudden departure.”

This is not correct.

What I actually noted – not “claimed” – was that discussion focusing on the reference to the AFP could unfortunately act as a diversion from the contradictory testimony at last week’s Senate Inquiry by the Chairman of the DHA Board and the relevant Deputy Secretary from the Department of Defence..

As I specifically noted, the Department of Finance reference to the AFP long predated the Senate hearing last week.

The misquotation has resulted in people incorrectly believing that the ADA is somehow accusing the Department of Finance of subsequently referring a matter to the AFP as a diversion.

This is neither true, nor chronologically possible, and harms the longstanding reputation of the ADA for informed commentary based on facts.

An immediate correction of the AFR’s misquotation would be appreciated.

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