The Centre Alliance Federal MP for the seat of Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, has presented a Parliamentary motion supportiing the ABC.
The motion calls for full restoration of ABC funding to pre-Abbott levels, and was seconded by the independent member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie.
The motion follows a petition organised by Ms Sharkie in support of our precious public broadcaster. The petition is now closed.
Nevertheless, please see her media release below:
FINAL CALL FOR FUND OUR ABC PETITION
Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has made a final call for signatures on her ‘Fund Our ABC’ petitionprior to lodging a motion on Monday calling on the Government to reverse nearly $340 million in funding cuts to the national broadcaster.
“The petition accompanying this motion shows the Government just how much Mayo loves our ABC,” Rebekha said.
“This $338 million in funding cuts includes $84 million of additional ‘savings’ announced in the 2018 Federal Budget and follows the loss of hundreds of jobs across the country.
“These cuts, when combined with calls this year for the full privatisation of the ABC from the Institute of Public Affairs and the Liberal Party Federal Council, are clear warning signs that the Government is paving the way for a sell-off despite the Communication Minister’s statement to the contrary.
“Australians who value the ABC are on notice that we must act and I know that I and my Centre Alliance colleagues will do all in our power to restore the ABC’s funding to pre-2014 levels.”
Sue Pinnock, Friends of the ABC (SA/NT) President and SA representative on the ABC Friends National Committee, welcomes the motion and petition.
“Rebekha has made a strong call for the Government to reverse the funding cuts it has imposed on the ABC since 2014 and to protect the ABC from privatisation,” she said.
“Last month Rebekha, a committed member of the Parliamentary Friends of the ABC, was the first politician in Australia to receive an ABC Friends “Defenders Badge” in recognition of her ongoing support for Australia’s public broadcaster.
“A well-funded and independent ABC is crucial for our democracy.”
For media inquiries contact Genevieve Cooper on 0421 201 112
Proposed Notice of Motion: August 20
MEMBER FOR MAYO: I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that this House:
(1) Notes that:
(a) In the 2013 Federal election, the then Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP promised no funding cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (‘ABC’);
(b) Since 2014 the Federal Government has announced cuts of $338 million in funding from the ABC, comprised of:
(i) $254 million since 2014; and
(ii) $84 million of additional cuts over three years as announced in the 2018 Federal Budget;
(c) These funding cuts are privatising the ABC by stealth;
(d) Many members of the Government are former staffers and/or members of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA);
(e) The IPA has advised the Government to privatise the ABC and has published “Against Public Broadcasting: Why We Should Privatise the ABC and How to Do It”;
(f) On 7 October 2008, Senator Fifield, now Minister for Communications, gave a speech entitled “Fiscal Contraception: Erecting Barrier to Impulsive Spending” and in that speech, the Senator stated that “Conservatives have often floated the prospect of privatizing the ABC and Australia Post and there is merit in such proposals.”
(g) Strong and independent Australian public broadcasting is important to Australian culture and the quality of our country’s democracy;
(h) The Liberal Party’s 2018 Federal Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the “full privatisation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, except for services into regional areas”;
(i) No Government Ministers present at that Federal Council spoke against the motion during the debate.
(3) Calls on the Federal Government to reverse the funding cuts it has imposed upon the ABC since