How typical of the Liberals to exploit their own alleged political interference at the ABC as cover to destroy the SBS.
Following Scott Morrison’s ABC/SBS merger thought bubble earlier this week, prominent Tory Jeff Kennett is out there today softening the ground in an opinion piece about how he thinks the ABC can be “fixed”.
Let’s get this straight: after slashing ABC funding by $366 million in breach of an explicit pre-election promise not to, after 800 staff have been shown the door, after a drop in ABC content and services including shortwave radio in the bush, and after subjecting the ABC to a relentless series of Bills, inquiries and complaints over the past 5 years, the Liberals now propose to “fix” the ABC by destroying the SBS.
Scott Morrison and the Liberals have proven they simply do not support public broadcasting in Australia.
The Liberals have already tried to turn the SBS into a commercial broadcaster by stealth, with their failed attempts to push for more advertising on SBS during prime time.
Scott Morrison likes to talk about Australia being the most successful multicultural nation in the world but he is deeply ignorant when it comes to the critical role the SBS has played, and continues to play, in that success.
The ABC and SBS are two distinct media organisations, established for different purposes and operating under different models.
Labor rules out a merger of the ABC and SBS. Scott Morrison must do the same.
If Scott Morrison really wants to “fix” the ABC, he could start by actually following the independent merits-based and arms-length board appointments process in the ABC Act, which his unscrupulous Minister has failed to do.