60th Federal Council
16 June 2018
Mr President just
some comments and observations.
not the position of the Government to alter the ownership arrangements of the
public broadcasters. But we do have a range of measures that we’re seeking to
implement to enhance the efficiency, the accountability and the transparency of
ABC operations which I’ll just quickly go through.
the Budget, we announced an indexation pause for the ABC funding in its next
triennium. We have paired that with an efficiency review to make sure that the
ABC is being the best possible steward of taxpayer resources that it can
be. Just in reference to Karina’s earlier motion, that efficiency review
is also applying to SBS.
also initiated something called a Competitive Neutrality Inquiry, which has the
purpose of assessing whether the ABC and SBS are using their position as
taxpayer-funded entities to compete in ways which are not fair with the
commercial broadcasting sector.
also have a range of legislative measures which we have before the Senate. One
of those, is to put into the ABC’s Act, specific and explicit reference to its
obligations to rural and regional Australia. Most people think that the ABC Act
states a specific obligation to rural and regional Australia. It doesn’t. We’re
going to put that in the Act.
also going to be legislating to ensure that the ABC board always has at least
two members from rural and regional Australia. We would already meet that
criteria because of the appointments that I’ve made. I’ve put on the ABC board
the Chair of the Minerals Council of Australia. I’ve put the on the ABC board
the Vice President of AgForce Queensland, a beef producer from Kingaroy.
also have legislation before the Senate to put in the ABC’s Act; a
requirement for the ABC to be fair and balanced. Again, that’s something that,
it’s assumed, is in the ABC Act. It’s not.
finally, we have legislation before the Senate to require that anyone in the
ABC organisation who earns more than two-hundred thousand dollars a year has
Authorised by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.