Communist Party of Australia  


The Guardian

Current Issue

PDF Archive

Web Archive

Pete's Corner


Press Fund


About Us

Why you should ...

CPA introduction

Contact Us

facebook, twitter

Major Issues





Climate Change



What's On






Books, T-shirts, CDs/DVDs, Badges, Misc


Issue #1660      October 15, 2014

Protest at ABC board meeting

On October 1, a protest by supporters of the national broadcaster was held at ABC’s headquarters in the inner Sydney suburb of Ultimo. The ABC board is coming under intense pressure from ABC Friends and supporters not to cut crucial ABC current affairs programs.

Jonathan Holmes speaking at the ABC rally. (Photo: Get Up)

The protest was addressed by long-time ABC journalist, Quentin Dempster. It had been organised by ABC Friends and is supported by ABC staff unions.

“The ABC is under heavy pressure from the Government to make cuts,” said Glenys Stradijot, ABC Friends national spokesperson. “However, the community will not accept ABC current affairs being cut.

“News and current affairs are the lifeblood of our democracy. They are a core responsibility of the national broadcaster. Lateline provides a crucial service to the nation [Lateline will return next year, a result of public pressure]. State-based 7.30 is relied upon around the country for insight and scrutiny of important state and local affairs. Radio National’s specialist programs are an invaluable resource.

“ABC Friends already has 10,664 ‘likes’ on its Facebook page opposing cuts to ABC current affairs. An online petition launched on GetUp has reached 37,600 signatures on last check.

“The ABC board has the strong support of the community to fight funding cuts. The board has a responsibility to ensure the ABC is not gagged”, said Glenys Stradijot.

Meanwhile, the government’s appointment to the ABC’s governing board of Peter Lewis conveys an alarming message about the ABC’s future,, said Glenys Stradijot. “ABC Friends believes his appointment is improper and inappropriate.”

Peter Lewis is the former chief financial officer of Seven West Media and Southern Cross Austereo and the person who conducted the government’s efficiency review of the ABC.

“Mr Lewis’s background is in commercial media finance – skills which are totally unsuited to the governing board of a public broadcaster and the country’s foremost cultural institution,” Ms Stradijot pointed out.

She said that Lewis’s appointment appears to be a reward for him having devised a blueprint for how the ABC should be cut and that it also looks to be an attempt by the government to impose an agenda of commercialisation on the ABC.

“Peter Lewis should never have been appointed to conduct a review of the ABC due to his recent employment in senior roles with media companies that are competitors of the ABC. It is even worse that someone with such a clear potential for conflict of interest has been appointed to the broadcaster’s governing board.

“With its cuts to ABC funding and its first appointment to the ABC board, this government is demonstrating contempt for the nation’s independent public broadcaster, said Glenys Stradijot.

Next article – Australian peace activists assaulted by SAS

Back to index page

Go to What's On Go to Shop at CPA Go to Australian Marxist Review Go to Join the CPA Go to Subscribe to the Guardian Go to the CPA Maritime Branch website Go to the Resources section of our web site Go to the PDF of the Hot Earth booklet go to the World Federation of Trade Unions web site go to the Solidnet  web site Go to Find out more about the CPA