TRANSCRIPT - RADIO INTERVIEW - TRIPLE J HACK WITH TOM TILLEY - 27 SEPTEMBER 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

SUBJECTS: Allegations regarding political interference at the ABC involving Justin Milne; Labor’s call for Senate Inquiry into political interference at the ABC.

TOM TILLEY: Let's go to Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland. What do you make of the decision by Justin Milne today?

MICHELLE ROWLAND, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: I think that a number of people would have expected that this may well have ended up being the outcome at the end of the day, certainly by the end of the week. I mean, we saw some reports that he may not have lasted the week and even some suggestions by anonymous sources that the Liberal Government thought that this is what needed to happen. I think that ultimately this goes to issues of trust and governance and, as Matt said, this is about an independent public broadcaster. We're talking about a public broadcaster, not a state broadcaster.

TILLEY: Sure. So with Milne stepping down, does that take the whole problem out of the equation? If he was the one that didn't do his job right, that passed on undue political pressure, is him going enough? Or are you deeply concerned about the way senior members of the government, including Malcolm Turnbull, have handled their relationship with him and the ABC?

ROWLAND: I think we need to go back to how this all started. I mean, the genesis of this is allegations of political interference and that interference doesn't just exist as a result of the existence of the Chairman. These are allegations that someone has exerted in some form, some interference in this matter. And those allegations need to be tested. 

So by no means does Labor consider that this is the end of the matter. The government might like to think that this is business as usual and everyone should just get on with their lives but, quite frankly, I think this government has seriously underestimated the level of public disquiet about this matter. 

TILLEY: And the love for the ABC, I guess, and we hear about that in poll after poll but it's really been borne out by this scandal. Michelle Rowland, thanks for joining us.