By Stephen Mayne, unpaid adviser to John Laws


Crikey took
a call from one of John Laws’ producers yesterday to let us know Peter Costello
would be interviewed by the Golden Tonsils shortly and were there any
questions we could suggest on the Steve Vizard saga?

We offered
up a few off the top of the head and thought nothing of it until the
producer called back a couple of hours later to say some of the
questions had been asked and the Treasurer’s answers were now running
on the wires, as you can see here. The full transcript of the interview shows that Vizard only scored a mention right at the bottom, but they were certainly our questions.

Costello
knew that Laws was broadcasting from Hamilton Island, which might
explain why he was short of a good question or two. However, the
interview finished as follows:

Treasurer: Thank you John. And all the very best at Hamilton.

Laws: It
is just fabulous. I’m just looking out on this marina now. There are
boats from all over the world here for this thing. We really have got
to promote it because it is an international event, and could you think
of a better place to sail in the world than around the Whitsundays?

Treasurer: I cannot, so you enjoy yourself.

The
huge plug for the sail fest at Hamilton Island is interesting given
that John Laws has long had a cosy relationship with its billionaire
owner, Rosemount founder Bob Oatley. And yes, the 2UE website details
the commercial relationships of its presenters and says the following about Laws and Hamilton Island:

Consideration: More than $10,000 but less than $100,000 per annum

Parties To Agreement: John Laws, Hamilton Island Limited and Smith Smyth & Jones Pty Ltd.
Duration:
September 15, 2004 to September 14, 2007.
Obligation: To read live
advertising and record radio commercials for Hamilton Island containing
John Laws’ endorsement; provide voiceover for corporate videos and
television commercials and provide advice on radio commercials. To
attend briefings for Hamilton Island Limited.
Benefit Provider: Hamilton Island Limited

CRIKEY:
There’s nothing there about doing live broadcasts or giving Hamilton
huge on-air plugs whilst interviewing important federal politicians but
that is exactly what Laws did yesterday. Surely politicians shouldn’t
be dragged into also endorsing the cash for comment product. Cash for
comment is just a distant memory now and Laws is back earning more than
$1 million a year from his various sponsors, but none of it will be
coming to Crikey for our little questions consultancy.