The chairperson of the ABC board, Ita Buttrose, has given high praise to Victoria and its ABC offices during a keynote address to the ABC Friends Victoria Annual General Meeting.
The address was presented as a recorded speech to the AGM, was conducted as an online event.
Ita Buttrose said:
Certainly nowhere in Australia are the arts more valued than in Victoria. Melbournians can take justified pride in the city’s reputation as the arts capital of Australia.
And the chair outlined how proud she was in the efforts of the ABC’s staff in Victoria for their sterling efforts with producing content during a pandemic:
The ABC’s real achievements over the last few years are particularly pleasing given the huge practical hurdles and emotional challenges created for our people by COVID-19. Throughout this pandemic I have been incredibly impressed by the way the ABC’s Victorian staff have continued to produce the full range of valued services for Victorian and wider audiences while supporting each other as colleagues during some difficult times.
Ms. Buttrose covered a lot of ground during her address, but spent a great deal of her time discussing plans for the future.
She discussed the ABC’s 5-year plan to decentralise staff out of the Sydney headquarters, as well as how money gained from the new media bargaining code with internet giants will be spent.
She said dozens of new positions would be created across rural and regional Australia as a result of new income from Google and Facebook, but added the important qualification: “On the assumption of ongoing funding levels.”
In a changing media landscape and galloping technological innovation, Ita Buttrose said two things at the ABC would never change: its commitment to quality independent journalism, and its independence.