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Taxpayers deserve to know the details of Guthrie's payout

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When a large company awards a payout to an ousted chief executive or appoints a new chairman, it might set tongues wagging in business and media circles but most people just don’t care that much.

But when it’s the ABC, it’s a national talking point. The Australian people don’t just own the national broadcaster on paper, they feel that ownership at a visceral level.

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has reached a confidential settlement with the ABC.Credit:ABC

The ABC waited until after business hours on Friday evening to announce it had reached a confidential settlement with former managing director Michelle Guthrie. If the timing was an attempt to bury the story, it was never going to work; people care about the ABC too much.

Keeping the amount secret also won’t fly. If the senate committee hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday don’t succeed in prising out the settlement information, it’s likely to leak anyway.

Taxpayers will foot the bill and deserve to know the details. A listed company would be forced to disclose an equivalent payment and the ABC should be no different.

The extra payment is substantially higher........

© Canberra Times