ABC Friends News


The Guardian Newspaper reports that the government rejected some of Australia’s most important cultural figures as ABC Board members – and instead appointed a mining industry executive.

The revelations, which came after a freedom of information search, show that, in 2017, the government cast aside recommended candidates so that they could appoint the chair of the Minerals Council of Australia, Dr. Vanessa Guthrie, to the ABC Board.

The Online Newspaper reports:

Documents released under freedom of information legislation show that in February 2017, the government rejected singer, writer and director Robyn Archer, former managing director of SBS Shaun Brown, and Sandra Levy, former chief executive of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

They were on a list of eight names recommended by an independent nomination panel after an extensive application and vetting process. The then communications minister, Mitch Fifield, instead appointed the chair of the Minerals Council of Australia, Vanessa Guthrie.

Guthrie had no media experience. At the time, the ABC was facing constant government criticism over its reporting on the coal mining industry and energy security.