Australia Network is the international television service funded by the Australian government for broadcasting to the Asia-Pacific region. The service, which has been previously broadcast as ABC Asia Pacific (ABCAP), is run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Launching the original service in February 2002 Downer stated that "under the terms of the contract, the service will be genuinely independent in the best traditions of the ABC. This means that the Government will not always agree with the perspectives and views expressed on the service." 
In June 2005, the Australian government opened the provision of the service to tender. Writing in the Australian Financial Review, Laura Tingle reported that other bidder for the contract was Sky News Australia, consortium of Publishing & Broadcasting (PBL), Kerry Stokes's Seven Network and Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting. "The contract that accompanies the new tender specifies that the department [of Foreign Affairs and Trade] can proscribe any program or material on the service if it is not in the interests of Australia or not consistent with the commonwealth's objectives," Tingle reported.
In December 2005 the government announced that the ABC had been selected as the winning tendered for the 2006-2011 period.
The service will broadcast three channnels - one each to the Pacific, east and noth Asia and south Asia. "A key requirement of the service is to provide a credible and independent voice through programs that present a 'window' on Australia and Australian perspectives of the world," Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer stated when announcing the new name and service. 
- "ABC Asia Pacific", ABC Asia-Pacific, Annual Report 2001-2002 (extract), pages 63-65. (Pdf)
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, "Australia, the Asia-Pacific, and Television: Broadcasting to the Region", Speech, February 13, 2002.
- Liz Jackson, "Sky's push for Asian subsidy", "Mediawatch", ABC TV, June 6, 2005.
- Laura Tingle, "Cabinet to Peruse TV Bids", Australian Financial Review, December 12, 2005. (Not available online).
- Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, "Australian Television Service to the Asia Pacific Region", Media Release, December 13, 2005.
- Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, "Doorstop - Indonesia Travel Advice, ABC Asia Pacific Television Service Contract, David Hicks, Cronulla disturbances", Transcript, December 13, 2005. (Brief mention by Downer, no questions by journalists).
- Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, "Australia's Television Service to the Asia-Pacific Region", Media Release, July 10, 2006.