ABC Friends News


July 2018
[picture: Local Candidate for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie receives a ‘Defenders Badge’ from Sue Pinnock, Friends of the ABC (SA/NT) President and SA representative on the ABC Friends National Committee.]
Local Candidate for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has become the first politician to receive a ‘Defenders Badge’ from the Friends of ABC National.
Sue Pinnock, Friends of the ABC (SA/NT) President and SA representative on the ABC Friends National Committee, recently presented the badge to Rebekha to recognise her support for Australia’s public broadcaster.
“Rebekha has been a long-time advocate for the ABC and the Friends wanted to acknowledge that support and Rebekha’s commitment to working towards restoring the $338 million in funding slashed from the ABC budget since
2014,” Sue said.
If elected, Rebekha says she will act immediately to lodge a motion in Federal Parliament calling on the Government to reverse the funding cuts it has imposed upon the ABC since 2014.
Rebekha has also launched a local petition to demonstrate the depth of community support for the ABC.
“The petition accompanying this motion will show the Government just how much Mayo loves our ABC and that our community will not tolerate Australia’s national treasure being privatised by stealth,” 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.
“The savage cuts, when combined with recent calls 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,” she said.
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
(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
(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”;
(d) 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.”
(e) Strong and independent Australian public broadcasting is important to
Australian culture and the quality of our country’s democracy;
(f) 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”;
(f) 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 2014.