MORE CROSS-BENCH SUPPORT FOR OUR ABC
Senator Jacqui Lambie’s Public Pledge
Calls ABC “Eighth Great Wonder of the World;” Wants funding back “immediately.”
November 3, 2016
Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has pledged to fight for a restoration of ABC funding, in a social media video message recorded for ABC Friends.
In the video, Senator Lambie describes the ABC as the “Eighth Great Wonder of the World,” and pledges to do all she can to not only stop cuts to ABC funding, but to have hundreds of millions of dollars withdrawn by coalition governments to be “reinstated immediately.”
The Senator’s public support is significant, because it increases pro-ABC numbers on the cross-bench.
The Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team have also promised to support any legislative initiatives that might help restore ABC funding and secure independence. Labor has pledged an increase in tied funding for special projects.
“That ABC love needs to be spread right across [Australia] and everyone needs to have their fair share of the ABC – right across the board – not just housed in Sydney because that’s just ridiculous,” Senator Lambie said.
Former ABC MD Mark Scott recently admitted that government funding cuts had required the ABC concentrate content production in Sydney.
“I’m going to go out there like many politicians and start asking for those cuts to stop and for that money that has been taken out over the last few years to be reinstated immediately,” the Senator said in the video, which will be posted to social media later today.
“I’d like to see more resources on the ground, especially in rural areas; especially in places like Tasmania.”
“The ABC – it’s iconic – it’s like the Eighth Great Wonder of the World to me and many Australians out there.”
But Senator Lambie doesn’t stop there – calling for the resurrection of overseas broadcasting as well.
“So I’d like to see it spread – and spread right across the world.”
“We should be using the ABC to showcase Australia – right across the world.”
ABC Friends National Spokesman Ranald Macdonald said the Friends were “delighted” that Senator Lambie had joined the growing line-up of politicians willing to support more funding for the ABC.
“It is our belief that Australia loses through not having the ABC voice being heard throughout the Asia-Pacific region and through the lessening of reportage back to this country by our own foreign correspondents,” Mr Macdonald said.
“This is a direct consequence from the breaking of the ABC’s Australia Network contract.”
“Our public broadcaster needs to be funded so that all Australians benefit from its range of services and from its programming,” he said.