VIDEO: GILLIAN TRIGGS CALLS FOR NEW ABC FUNDING MODEL

VICTORIAN ANNUAL DINNER HEARS FROM DR GILLIAN TRIGGS

Former Human Rights Commissioner calls for ABC “guaranteed funding

By ABC Friends Victoria President Peter Monie

The Human Rights Commissioner who withstood the combined wrath of the Federal Government and its News Ltd supporters, and emerged strong and dignified, Dr Gillian Triggs, stressed the importance of the ABC to democracy, at the ABC Friends Victoria Annual Dinner on the 22nd of November.

“Thank you so much … and I can’t think of a better group in the whole of Australia to be talking to: friendly; comfortable; safe!” Dr Triggs said to great applause.

“Partly because we just love it!” she said to laughter.

“But a deeper reason is because the ABC in all its forms is a vital part of our democracy.”

“Public broadcasting makes an important contribution to democracy for the public must have an opportunity to be objectively informed through trusted sources,” she said.

“Without access [for] Australians of accurate information and reasoned opinion, we cannot have a true representative political system to ensure social justice, accountability or even reform.”

“The ABC’s independence from commercial and political interference enables it to report without fear or favour, but to achieve that objective of independence – as I know too well – it must be adequately funded by government and independent of government influence.”

Dr Triggs called for funding reform as an answer to the unending pressure on the ABC.

“I believe the ABC should have some form of guaranteed budget to take away one of the most powerful tools of government that can eat at its genuine independence,” she said.