After astonishing allegations of intervention in staffing and editorial decisions of Australia’s national broadcaster, Labor will be moving to establish a Senate Inquiry into the Liberal Government’s political interference at the ABC.
Media reports outline an extraordinary situation in which the independence and integrity of Australia’s most trusted news organisation risk having been compromised.
The ABC does not belong to the Liberals – it belongs to the Australian people.
Given the importance of maintaining independence and integrity, Labor will be seeking support from the Parliament to establish a Senate Inquiry to look at these allegations.
The Liberal/National Coalition have launched the biggest attack on the independence of the ABC in a generation.
Since 2014, they have announced over $366 million in cuts to the ABC that has seen 800 jobs lost and a drop in Australian content and services. This is despite the Liberals’ election promise of “no cuts to the ABC”.
This year alone, this out of touch government has cut $83.7 million in ABC funding, launched two damaging public broadcasting inquiries and has three bills before Parliament to meddle with the ABC Act and Charter.
The Liberals can’t be trusted with the ABC – and they can’t be trusted to act on these allegations of political interference.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has spent more time complaining to the ABC on behalf of the Liberal Party and the IPA than he has doing his day job.
The Liberal Party has a policy to privatise the ABC - the first step in this process is its determination to politicise the organisation.
The ABC is a public broadcaster, not a state broadcaster and Australians have a right to know what is going on.
A Senate Inquiry, if established, will help give Australians this knowledge – because the Liberals won’t be honest and upfront about their interference.