Fifield shows true colours with ABC-SBS attack

The CPSU says an opinion piece by Communications Minister Mitch Fifield shows he and the Turnbull Government are not to be trusted with Australia’s public broadcasting future.

Minister Fifield’s piece, printed in The Australian newspaper, was written in response to a speech by ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie last week defending the public broadcaster.

CPSU’s ABC Section Secretary Sinddy Ealy said: “The ABC and SBS are absolutely critical parts of the national media landscape. The Communications Minister of all people should know their importance but he’s shown his priorities are with corporate interests and One Nation rather than the Australian people. He has shown his true colours.”

“It is absolutely outrageous for Minister Fifield to characterise the proposed changes hatched by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie as sensible. Their proposals are clearly intended to hurt the ABC and undermine its editorial independence. There’s no excuse for the Turnbull Government’s barely veiled hostility towards our national broadcasters.”

“What’s perhaps most telling about Minister Fifield’s opinion piece is that he refuses to explicitly name One Nation at all, instead referring obliquely to the crossbench. Clearly Mr Fifield knows all too well that he’s helping Senator Hanson carry out a personal vendetta against the ABC.”

“It is disgraceful that the Minister entrusted with protecting and enhancing Australia’s national broadcasters is instead using them as bargaining chips. Let’s be clear, the Government is supporting changes to the ABC Charter and the publishing of ABC and SBS salaries in an attempt to exert undue influence on these important organisations.”

“It’s not surprising that commercial media interests try to blame their woes on the ABC and SBS rather than their own poor decision making. Michelle Guthrie is absolutely right to point out that attacking the ABC isn’t a sensible or viable business model for these companies.”