Letter To The Editor

Response to The Australian

1 Jul 2015

Dear Mr Mathieson,

The Australian’s article today ‘Houston declines to explain executive bonuses’ (Wednesday 1 July 2015) continues to make inaccurate and misleading claims about Airservices.

Sir Angus Houston spoke to The Australian’s Editor at Large Paul Kelly in a lengthy interview, which resulted in an article which ran in your publication on Friday, 26 June 2015.

In this interview with The Australian, Sir Angus addressed a wide number of issues put to him by Mr Kelly and in the published article ‘Dick Smith is wrong on air safety: Houston’, Sir Angus rejected inaccurate claims of excessive salary and excessive pay rises. Sir Angus also provided examples of the steps he had taken to ensure the organisation exercised executive wage restraint.

To allege that Sir Angus has declined the opportunity to comment on these issues is simply not true. We ask that The Australian publishes a retraction on this inaccurate and misleading claim, and an apology to Sir Angus.

Airservices has provided extensive information to The Australian over the past month on a number of different issues and the way this information has been reported is not what the public would expect of The Australian.

It is disappointing that The Australian continues to publish articles with inaccurate and misleading claims that are damaging to Airservices reputation, and the reputation of our Chairman Sir Angus Houston and CEO Margaret Staib. The approach being taken appears to be contrary to New Limited’s own Professional Conduct Policy.

Airservices is a world leading air navigation service provider that continually innovates and adopts new technologies, finding safe and efficient solutions for our customers. Airservices works cooperatively with airlines, Australian industry bodies and regulators and our overseas counterparts in these areas.

Yours sincerely


Mairi Barton
Executive General Manager
Corporate and Industry Affairs