ABC Friends would like to thank the four cross-bench Senators who have blocked, so successfully, a series of anti-ABC legislation introduced by the government.
Senators Stirling Griff, Rex Patrick, Tim Storer and Derryn Hinch have all become ABC DEFENDERS!
The government has opted to shelve the changes.
It follows several successful visits to Canberra from ABC Friends lobbying delegations headed by Federal President Margaret Reynolds and National Spokesman Ranald Macdonald.
The Community and Public Sector Union, and the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance should also be applauded for their lobbying efforts over a long period.
The CPSU’S summary of legislation the Senators stopped:
- National Broadcasters Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Transparency) Bill 2017 – Compromises the ABC’s ability to retain staff and has been pursued by Pauline Hanson to punish the ABC for scrutinising her party
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Fair and Balanced) Bill 2017 – This bill would give ABC detractors another way to undermine the editorial independence of the ABC
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Rural and Regional Measures) Bill 2017 – This bill will add more rigid requirements on the ABC to serve regional and rural constituents. Regional broadcasting services are important, but this is a hypocritical attempt by the National Party to gain community support while backing in the Liberals ABC funding cuts.
Thanks to your quick action, all four Senate crossbenchers have publicly declared that they will not support the Coalitions three anti-ABC Bills.
This commitment is a small but significant win in our campaign to protect our ABC, and it was your action that got us over the line.
However, serious threats to the ABC’s independence and funding remain.
Possibly in anticipation of a bruising defeat, the Coalition has withdrawn all three ABC Bills from today’s Senate listing. Unfortunately, this is not an indication that the Coalition has given up on pushing their anti-ABC agenda, it’s likely that these bills will resurface at a later date.
Adding to that, the Coalition’s additional ABC funding cut of $83M, it’s Competitive Neutrality inquiry, and it’s second ABC efficiency review headed by an ex-NewsCorp Executive, are all still on the table.