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Sunday, 31 May 2015

AFTRS and after Sandra Levy (Number Three) - Film Alert tackles George Brandis about the issues.

George Brandis answers Film Alert's questions
I'm hearing, possibly several times a week, the name of the likely next AFTRS CEO. Regrettably, its rarely the same name. Insiders and outsiders are coming up with some most interesting thoughts. To cut through this I decided to go straight to the man who holds the instrument of appointment in his hand, Senator George Brandis. But in fact, after initially thinking this was a good idea, I have lowered my sights and sent in some questions to Minister Brandis's Senior arts communications advisor in the hope that she may be able to assist with some answers about what is happening with the appointment process. You will notice that I have not asked for this blog to be given a scoop and the name of the proposed appointee to be provided. Instead, as a result of more than a little interest (judging by the number of page views) in previous items about the matter, which you can find here and here, I have asked some questions about when and how this appointment is being made. Here are the questions.
When does Senator Brandis expect to make an announcement of the AFTRS CEO?
Has Senator Brandis personally met or interviewed the proposed candidate? If not Does Senator Brandis intend to meet or interview the proposed AFTRS CEO before submitting the name to the G-G for the signing of the instrument of appointment?
Is it intended that the Prime Minister will meet the intended appointee before the instrument is submitted to the G-G? Has such a meeting taken place?

I shall keep readers informed of progress, or as some whose counsel I have taken before embarking on this course, the possible total lack of progress.

UPDATE As of the close of business on Tuesday 2 June, I have not had a response to this email above. It has not even been acknowledged, which is I guess the etiquette of modern correspondence when Ministers and their Advisors get hundreds of bits and pieces of communication from every ratbag under the sun. Still, George Brandis and all of his Advisors and officials apparently didn't think the letter he received from the Lindt Cafe crackpot warranted anything other than indifference either. We shall see and continue to report. 

UPDATE As of today Thursday 4 June I have now had a very polite response from George Braandis's Senior Arts Communications Advisor letting me know that she is seeking answers to my questions and that she hopes to provide them by the end of the week, i.e. tomorrow Friday. Looking forward to that.

UPDATE: I received this email from George Brandis's office on Thursday 4 June: 
Hi Geoffrey,
You should have received my automated out of office response – perhaps it was caught by your spam filters or junk mailbox?
 I’ll organise a response for you now – is tomorrow afternoon a suitable deadline?
 Merran Aguilera
Senior arts communication adviser

I delightedly agreed. However, the promised response by the self-imposed deadline didn't happen and I guess it wont at least till Tuesday 9 June when I shall be back on the case.

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