Telstra only took note of the issue on 13 July when iTWire ran an article mentioning the fact that the company's logo had suddenly disappeared from the ASPI sponsors' page and got in touch with the organisation to find out why this had happened. On the same day, Independent senator Nick Xenophon had asked why Telstra was not coming under any questioning about its arrangements with ASPI
Xenophon raised this in connection with the fact that Telstra gets its 5G gear from a joint-venture arrangement between Ericsson and Panda Electronics, the latter being a firm that the US claims is either owned or controlled by the People's Liberation Army.
Given that ASPI has strongly criticised Huawei over allegations that it is spying for China, and not said a word about Telstra, Xenophon asked why ASPI had not criticised and inquired whether this could be because Telstra was a sponsor of the defence lobby group that styles itself as an independent non-partisan think-tank.
This is not a slur on Carey; far from it, it is one characteristic that every good media manger _should_ have and I have no doubt that Carey's being in the role for 18 years at least is due to his very high level of competence.
Thus that the same Carey would have missed the mentions of Telstra as a sponsor of ASPI when it was not, is incomprehensible.
When ASPI was asked about the disappearing Telstra logo — which iTWire found had been pulled sometime between 19 May and 27 June — its events and communications manager Kelly Smith first said: "Thanks for getting in touch to clarify. I can confirm that Telstra is not a sponsor of ASPI." She did not specify when the association with Telstra had ended.
Later when iTWire raised the issue with Smith after Carey said the matter of the logo remaining on ASPI's site, beyond what he claimed was the end of the sponsorship, would have to be addressed by the lobby group, she suddenly remembered that the deal with Telstra had run from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. As to how the Telstra logo remained on ASPI's site well beyond June 2019, she said nothing.
If iTWire is assiduous about checking sponsors, it is because one always needs to follow the money to know what drives an organisation. With that in mind, the ASPI sponsors page has been checked every time that one intends to publish that list of sponsors in an article.
I guess we'll have to add it to the list of unsolved mysteries like the Loch Ness monster and Big Foot.