A statement on Wentworth by ABC Friends NSW President Ed Davis
Wentworth: Vote for the ABC
ABC Friends is urging electors to ‘Vote for the candidate you trust with our ABC’. This is a crucial by-election. People in Wentworth care about the ABC and have been horrified by the attacks on it this year. This is their opportunity to send a strong message to the federal government.
ABC Friends was established in the mid-1970s in reaction to the then government’s cuts to the ABC. It is a non-aligned organisation with the mission of fighting for a properly funded and independent public broadcaster. The ABC’s importance has never been greater than now; in a world where ‘fake news’ proliferates and where science and truth are under attack. The ABC is among Australia’s most trusted institutions and by far the most trusted media organisation. And yet, 2018 has been its grimmest year with monthly attacks from federal government ministers, major budget cuts, a string of inquiries designed to weaken and undermine it, and, calls from the Liberal Party’s National Council in June to sell-off the ABC.
We know that many in Wentworth wake up to the ABC’s Fran Kelly and go to bed with Phillip Adams. They savour the delights of ABC Classic FM during the day. They watch 4 Corners, Mad as Hell and Rake, either when broadcast or on i-view. Many are rusted on to JJJ. Play School has touched many lives. The Wentworth by-election provides a most important opportunity for electors to send a message to government. As Kerry O’Brien, former host of 4 Corners, so succinctly put it to the packed Friends’ Rally in Sydney in July: “Don’t screw with the People’s ABC”.
ABC Friends will be active in Wentworth, interviewing candidates and providing feedback to voters on their views and the policies of their parties on the ABC.
Emeritus Professor Ed Davis AM is President of NSW ABC Friends and has lived in the Eastern Suburbs since 1980.