Ken Jeffreys

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ken Jeffreys is the General Manager, Corporate Relations and Tourism for Forestry Tasmania, a government-owned forestry agency.

Jeffreys was a political reporter with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Tasmania and later the head of the Tasmanian Government Communications Unit when the late Jim Bacon was Premier of Tasmania and subsequently for Paul Lennon.[1] Jeffreys finished working for the Government Communications Unit on June 11, 2004[2] and shared the honors at farewell drinks with Lennon's outgoing chief-of-staff, Scott Gadd.[3] At the time, Jeffreys was paid $108,014 and was provided with a government car and a phone. It was reported that Jeffreys had left the government to "become a house-dad".[4] (Lennon appointed former ABC reporter Rod Wallis as Jeffreys replacement.[5])

However, he was soon back doing PR. In early 2005 it was reported that he was working for the Pulp Mill Task Force, a Tasmanian government-funded group promoting the establishment of a new pulp mill.[6] Late the following year it was reported that Jeffreys, who was deputy chair of Ogilvie high school, was a spokesman for a number of southern Tasmanian high schools opposing a government decision to spend $30 million on a new high school for Kingston.[7][8]

(Jeffreys partner is Julie Pellas[9], the Director of Communications and Marketing in the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet.[10])

Labor Spin Doctor

Jeffreys was employed by the then Labor Opposition in 1997. In 2004, Mercury reporter Ellen Whinnett wrote that Jeffreys "is credited with directing and polishing the Government's public image over the past 5 1/2 years ... One of the most powerful bureaucrats in Tasmania, Mr Jeffreys was a member of Mr Bacon's inner circle, which included Mr Lennon. As the director of communications for the Office for the Premier, Mr Jeffreys was a direct conduit between Mr Bacon and the public service."[11]

Coining the "One Leader, One Team, One Direction" Slogan

Ahead of the 2002 Tasmanian state election, Jeffreys coined the Labor Party's election campaign slogan, "One Leader, One Team, One Direction". The slogan, The Australian correspondent Bruce Montgomery reported, had been approved by the ALP campaign committee of David Price, Michael Aird, Paul Lennon and Jeffreys. "It appears none has a sense of history," Montgomery wrote. "'Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!' was Adolf Hitler's catchcry for the Third Reich. It translates as 'One people, one empire, one leader'."[12]

"Jeffreys said he had heard of the Third Reich, but had never heard of Hitler's concept of Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer. He also said that, were something negative to be written about the obvious analogy to be drawn then he, Jeffreys, should be shown as being totally responsible. In other words, keep the heat off Jim," Montgomery wrote.[12]

Jeffreys Legal Threat Over Translation of LaFigaro article

In his book Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry, Bob Burton noted the instance in April 2003 of Jeffreys sending an email to Lindsay Tuffin, the editor of the feisty Tasmanian online news and discussion site,, "threatening legal action unless an English translation of a damning article on Tasmanian forestry issues in the French newspaper Le Figaro were removed. Aside from adding an excerpt from Hansard on the site, Tuffin ignored the threat.[13] Sure enough, Jeffreys was all bluff and no writ. But it begs the question of whether such a censorious approach is more common but just invisible. Or perhaps this threatening approach is reserved only for those viewed as potentially vulnerable to legal action."[14][15]

Quotable Quotes

  • May 14, 2009: "The hijacking of the climate change debate by anti forestry campaigners is morally bankrupt but more importantly dangerous for the planet ... The best evidence that green groups in Tasmania are prosecuting an anti-forestry agenda, under the guise of climate change, is their absolute opposition to biomass energy. If they seriously wanted to reduce carbon emissions in regeneration burns, they would be campaigning to force Forestry Tasmania to pick up some of the residues, put it into an energy plant and replace some of the fossil fuel electricity coming across Bass Strait." [16]
  • May 24, 2009: "Forestry Tasmania will not make a brass razoo out of this $23 million Tarkine drive, in fact it will lose access to some 650 hectares of forest that would otherwise be available for harvesting, so this is really a community service by Forestry Tasmania."[17]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch Resources


  1. "Why are journalists so ALP friendly?", Crikey, July 15, 2001.
  2. "PR man quits", The Mercury, may 29, 2004, page 15.
  3. Ellen Whinnett, "Happy heavies farewell spinners", "The Insider", The Mercury, June 12, 2004, page 28.
  4. "Salary rates detailed", The Mercury, June 1, 2004.
  5. "Come in, spinner", The Mercury, October 30, 2004, page 33.
  6. Greg Barns, "A bent towards bias", The Mercury, April 11, 2005, page 16.
  7. Michelle Paine, "Kingston school anger: Backdown worry in the face of outcry", The Mercury, December 14, 2006, page 13.
  8. Michelle Paine, "Quick fuels school doubts", The Mercury, December 15, 2006, page 22.
  9. "Republican close to Governor", The Mercury, August 13, 2004, page 2.
  10. "Julie Pellas", LinkedIn, accessed July 2009.
  11. Ellen Whinnett, "Spin doctor eyeing exit", The Mercury, March 25, 2004, page 9.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bruce Montgomery, "Echoes of Third Reich in state election campaign", The Australian, June 28, 2002, page 4.
  13. Lindsay Tuffin, "Legal action", Tasmanian Times, April 2003.
  14. Bob Burton, Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry, Allen & Unwin, September 2007, page 211.
  15. See also J. Andreoli, (no article title available), Le Figaro, 8 April 2003; and Carol Altman, "Internet papers allow media mice to roar", The Australian, Media, 22 May 2003, p. B07. (Not freely available online).
  16. Ken Jeffreys, "Forestry is part of green solution", "Talking Point", The Mercury, May 14, 2009.
  17. "Tarkine road plan sparks tourism row", ABC, May 24, 2009.

External links

Articles by Jeffreys

General articles

  • Lindsay Tuffin, "Legal action", Tasmanian Times, April 2003.
This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.