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Papers issue corrections and express regret on Helloworld editorial

February 27, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email


The two newspapers whose stories sparked the media and parliamentary concentration on Helloworld last week – the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s Age – have each since published corrections and statements of regret over errors that occurred in an editorial.

Last Thursday (21 February 2019) Helloworld Travel Limited addressed erroneous information aired in Senate Estimates hearings the previous day.

The following day, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age published an editorial containing serious errors, a fact that both newspapers acknowledged on Monday through “corrections” and statements of regret.

Both publications acknowledge the accusations they made in their editorials on Friday were “wrong” in suggesting that Helloworld Travel had won a competitive tender run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) after a meeting between Ambassador Joe Hockey and a Helloworld Travel Executive in April 2017.https://join.travelmanagers.com.au/benefits/earn-more/

The publications also acknowledged that Hockey told DFAT about his friendship with Helloworld Travel chief executive Andrew Burnes and his Helloworld Travel shareholding before the April 2017 meeting and then excused himself from all discussion and decisions relating to the procurement of travel services.

Helloworld Travel further notes that there were no travel management procurement processes underway for DFAT in the USA at the time of the meeting.

Helloworld Travel reiterates that its executives and staff have acted with integrity and honesty at all times.

In their corrections published on Monday this week, both newspapers acknowledged that they had run editorials containing errors.

The Sydney Morning Herald said:

“Friday’s editorial stated that Helloworld, run by Liberal Party treasurer Andrew Burnes, had won a competitive tender run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade after US Ambassador Joe Hockey met with a Helloworld executive in April 2017.

 “This is wrong and the Herald regrets any suggestion the meeting led to the awarding of a contract to Helloworld. The Herald also notes Mr Hockey told DFAT about his friendship with Mr Burnes and Helloworld shareholding before the April meeting and has since excused himself from all matters relating to the procurement of travel services.”

The Age statement was worded almost identically.

Edited by Peter Needham



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