Broadcast bids called for Brisbane G20 summit by PM&C

By Paul Hemsley

The Federal and Queensland governments are banking that the eyes of the world will be on Brisbane when the river city hosts the high powered G20 Summit in 2014, but to get the event to a world audience it helps if you hire a broadcaster first.

As preparations for the event formally known as the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G20) continue, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has called bids to beam out the event to the world and provide recorded information, better known as pool vision, to the media.

According to tender documents issued by PM&C, the successful contractor will be required to deliver coverage of G20 2014 from the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) on the 15th and 16th of November, including the Leaders’ Summit, Sherpa Meetings and other events as well as other broadcasting services to the PM&C’s G20 Taskforce.

Australia’s role in the G20 means that it will take over the “presidency” from Russia onwards from 1 December 2013 until Turkey takes over the role for the Summit to be held in its own country in 2015.

The upcoming Brisbane event is the first time that the G20 Summit has been held in Australia since the Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC in 2008 to deal with the Global Financial Crisis.

Since that pivotal time in recent economic history, the G20 Summit has been an annual and sometimes bi-annual event in participating countries.

Although the importance of the G20 event cannot be overlooked, the tender documents claim that it will be the “most significant meeting of world leaders that Australia has hosted”.

That statement is unlikely to sit well with organisers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that was held in Sydney in 2007 and attended by United States President George W Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao and then Australian Prime Minister John Howard, among many others.

However the massive security operation put in place by APEC organisers, which included erecting a huge steel fence around the CBD to keep out protestors, was made a laughing stock when comedians from satirical television program and The Chaser caused a frenzy by penetrating the tight police cordon near the conference venue using a fake motorcade that featured one member conspicuously dressed to resemble Osama bin Laden.

While specific provisions to guard against comedians at the G20 are not mentioned in the PM&C tender documents, the successful tenderer will be required to provide accredited broadcast media outlets with technical broadcast facilities, production and operational services to “maximise world-wide coverage” of the Summit.

The successful provider will need to supply broadcast equipment at the BCEC’s media centre, live multi camera coverage of the event and live one-on-one interview facilities at the media centre.

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