Late yesterday morning an important subject occupied the Senate Estimates Committee hearing for more than three pages and at least 15 minutes. The question of fish. Specifically, the fish that an ABC employee tried to score, free of charge, in an ABC radio broadcast.

Apparently the fish were mullet, among the cheapest of the lot ($2.90 a kilo, according to the transcript).

So much time has been expended on this fishy question that Labor Senator George Campbell suggested at the hearing that it might divert ABC management from the more serious issue of workplace harrassment and bullying.

But the fish issue was pursued with vigour. ABC management, led by CEO Russell Balding and head of Radio, Sue Howard, were aware of the fishy question, but not the detail investigated by the ABC’s department of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. Nor did anyone seem to know whether the fish actually arrived at the ABC’s radio offices in Hobart, or whether it was dead or alive.

But man hours will now be expended in finding the answers to Senator Campbell’s questions about the fish – and here’s the transcript.