MEDIA RELEASE - LABOR CALLS ON TURNBULL & HANSON TO ABANDON ATTACKS ON THE ABC - 14 NOVEMBER 2017

As the ABC announces a major restructure today, Labor calls on Malcolm Turnbull and Pauline Hanson to dump their plans to tamper with the ABC Charter and to damage the national broadcasters with a ‘Competitive Neutrality Inquiry’.

The ABC has announced that it is reorganising its internal structure to adapt to the contemporary media environment and maintain relevance and value as audience behaviours change.

The last thing the national broadcaster needs, at this time of disruption and transition, is the Prime Minister siding up with Pauline Hanson to attack its every move.

A recent survey of ABC staff, conducted by the CPSU, shows concerning levels of workplace stress as ABC staff feel pressured to do “more with less resources and less experienced staff”.

Since 2013, Turnbull has cut hundreds of millions from the ABC budget – first as Communications Minister and then as Prime Minister – stretching the ABC to do more with less.

What’s more, Turnbull’s media policy adviser, Pauline Hanson, has made it clear that she will be going after the ABC’s budget next year too.

Labor condemns Malcolm Turnbull and Pauline Hanson for using the ABC as a bargaining chip to get the government’s flawed media ownership changes through Parliament this year.

It is unacceptable in a modern democracy for Pauline Hanson to go after the ABC simply because she didn’t like One Nation being scrutinised in a Four Corners episode, earlier this year.

ABC staff should not have to suffer for the chaos and desperation of Malcolm Turnbull’s Government.

Labor believes the ABC is one of Australia’s most important public institutions, and that it should be supported to adapt and perform its vital role in Australian society.

While the vast majority of Australians trust the ABC, they simply can’t trust the Liberals or One Nation with the ABC.