Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader for Tasmania, Senator Helen Polley has warned Tasmanians not to trust Malcolm Turnbull when it comes to the future of the ABC.
“If Tasmanians needed any more proof that the Liberals are on a mission to destroy the public broadcaster, they got it when the Liberal Federal Council voted to privatise the ABC over the weekend,” Senator Polley said.
“They’ve shown their true colours. They do not support public broadcasting and want to sell-off the ABC.
“Since 2014, they have overseen $282 million in cuts to the ABC that has seen 800 jobs lost and a drop in Australian content and services.
“This has hit hard in Tasmania where newsrooms are shrinking and there are often not enough journalists to get to press conferences around the state.
“The ABC is one of the only news outlets with the capacity to tell stories about regional Australia from regional Australia.
“Now, more than ever, Tasmanians need the ABC – without it Tasmanians just won’t get the news and information they need.
“The Turnbull Government has been quick to deny it has plans to sell the ABC – but it’s only a matter of time before Mr Turnbull caves to internal pressure like he always does.”
“Frankly, Mr Turnbull is afraid of his party. Every time that the right wing of his party want to do something terrible to the Australian way of life like privatising the public broadcaster, Mr Turnbull says he won’t listen to them, but he always rolls over,” Senator Polley said.
In an era of global competition, media consolidation and fake news, the need for an innovative, comprehensive and independent public broadcaster only gets stronger.
Tasmanians have a choice – a strong and independent ABC, or a Liberal Government – but they can’t have both.
SENATOR HELEN POLLEY SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LEADER (TASMANIA) SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR AGEING SENATOR FOR TASMANIA