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To: The Current Coalition Government
Defend the ABC
Dear Government Ministers,
Stop undermining the ABC (death by a thousand cuts) and instead reinstitute the principle of a well funded, independent ABC that meets its charter obligations without political interference.
Your interference in Board and management appointments in order to remove resistance to the strategic shrinkage and emasculation of the ABC, on top of the savage and on-going budget cuts is now manifesting itself in the demise of serious programming (sciences, music, history, drama, Australian content) and the rise of endless repeat views.
Your current policies and actions are damning the ABC to a future that will not be relevant nor contribute to this nation's growth and prosperity.
You are ignoring the needs of our rural citizens.
You have appointed ABC Board members and senior managers who clearly have no interest in the broadcaster prospering and meeting, let alone exceeding, its charter obligations.
We the undersigned urge, nay demand, a full change of direction on public broadcasting to correct the 3 key pillars on which the ABC must be platformed:
1. Long term secured funding
2. Independence from political interference
3. Passionate and committed Board and senior management
Why is this important?
An independent robust public broadcaster is the only reliable source of unbiased news and current affairs, as well as a promoter and nursery for Australian talent in the arts, including music, film and theatre. The ABC is chartered with providing these services to ALL Australians, no matter how remotely they might be located, and has been, until recent changes enforced by budget cuts and 'management decisions', a reliable source of information for the pacific and Asian nations.
Add the public broadcaster's important roles in alerting us to national emergency information and providing reliable news to the regions around us, and everyone can understand the importance of a healthy ABC.
The fact that both Labor and Coalition governments have raged about the "biased ABC" over past decades clearly indicates that it has been doing its job to hold governments to be accountable, no matter which side of the fence they sit on.
We need a healthy ABC and we need to stop this government destroying its effectiveness.