One year after an ABC producer took a workplace bullying complaint
to the Industrial Relations Commission claiming the matter had been
mishandled internally, the national broadcaster is back in front of the
IRC – on the
same charge.

Last February, former
Inside Business producer Neheda Barakat alleged that the ABC’s
Victorian state editor of news and current affairs, Marco Bass, had bullied her
and interfered with her role in that job even though he was not her direct
supervisor.

The case ended up
before the IRC
, with Commissioner Smith calling for an independent expert to
investigate the bullying claims. And while Bass was cleared of the allegations in March this year, it seems that case will not be a one-off.

Crikey has learned
that a further two complaints of alleged bullying against Mr Bass have again
found their way to the IRC, with a hearing scheduled for Friday after the complaints,
made late last year, were again not dealt with adequately by the ABC’s internal mechanisms.

And the ABC has confirmed the news. “Yes… there is a
hearing before the AIRC on Friday concerning the progress of two related
investigations being conducted by the ABC. The ABC regrets the delay in progress. The Commission
hearing on Friday is an attempt to assist in the progress of the
investigations,” an ABC
Corporate spokesperson told Crikey late yesterday.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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