Nine’s newspapers regretful over “wrong” reporting on Helloworld meeting

Some newspaper, stacked on bokeh background

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have published “correction” statements for their reporting on a meeting between Joe Hockey a former Helloworld Travel executive.

In identical statements published yesterday, the two Nine-owned newspapers acknowledged the accusations they made in articles on Friday were “wrong” in suggesting that a meeting between Hockey, who is Australia’s ambassador to the US, and former Helloworld exec Russell Carstensen in 2017 led to Helloworld winning a competitive tender run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age also acknowledged that Hockey told DFAT about his friendship with Helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes and his shareholding in the company prior to the meeting, and then “excused himself from all matters relating to the procurement of travel services”.

You can view the statements published in the Nine mastheads below:

The Sydney Morning Herald correction statement for Helloworld

The Age correction statement for Helloworld

Helloworld noted in a statement to shareholders yesterday that there were no travel management procurement processes underway for DFAT in the US at the time of the meeting.

“Helloworld Travel reiterates that its executives and staff have acted with integrity and honesty at all times,” the statement said.

This all comes after both Burnes and Hockey slammed Carstensen’s allegation that his meeting with Australia’s ambassador to the US in 2017 was arranged by the Helloworld CEO because he said Hockey “owes” him.

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