Resignation of Turnbull- Abbott SBS Chairman

Labor welcomes the decision of Mr Nihal Gupta to resign as Chairman of the Special Broadcasting Service following a year of relentless pressure from Labor and The Australian newspaper.

Mr Gupta should never have been appointed to the $120,000 a year role. He was a pawn in the political game between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

On the 17th of October 2014, Malcolm Turnbull said Nihal Gupta would be a “real asset” to the SBS. He said:

Mr Nihal Gupta is currently the Managing Director of Digital Electronics Corporation Australia and has a strong background in business and commercial sectors, particularly in relation to technology and consumer electronics.

However, on the 9th of February The Australian revealed:

His two main business credentials highlighted in the Federal Government press release announcing his appointment are that he was Managing Director of Digital Electronics Corporation and was Chairman of JCurve Solutions.

The Australian has revealed he is the sole consultant at Digital Electronics Corporation and his company has no employees, premises, warehouses or distribution assets.

Labor called for Malcolm Turnbull to sack Nihal Gupta in March 2015 when it became clear that Mr Turnbull had massively overstated Mr Gupta’s qualifications. The Government’s motivation for appointing Mr Gupta were further called into question when it was revealed he had been a donor to the Liberal Party.

Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield backed in the misguided decision of Malcolm Turnbull right to the end. He stated in his press released today that:

Mr Gupta was appointed Chairman on 17 October 2014 and brought to the role his years of international business and management experience particularly in the technology and consumer electronics sectors.

Labor calls on Malcolm Turnbull to acknowledge that he got this appointment wrong and to make an appointment based on the best interests of the SBS, rather than his own interests.