Backing Corangamite’s Friend in Canberra

There’s no doubt that the Liberals see winning back Corangamite as key to their chances of retaining government. Three personal appearances by Scott Morrison for funding announcements in the first four weeks of the campaign are clear proof of that.

While the Geelong group has been very active in recent weeks, and a large number of ABCF corflutes are on display throughout the electorate, the focus has sharpened now that both candidates have declared their positions.

The sitting member’s stance was never in doubt. “We’re so lucky to have the ABC,” Libby Coker told the members of ABC Friends Geelong who interviewed her after the election was called.

It’s the last bastion of media that’s frank and fearless – and unbiased, in my view.

I wholeheartedly agree that the ABC must remain independent from government. I particularly want to see ABC radio well funded so that you can get reliable, honest, balanced reporting on daily issues. It’s how I get a lot of my news. And it’s trusted – people trust their ABC.

All music to our ears, of course, and not all that surprising from someone who is a member of both ABC Friends Victoria and the Parliamentary Friends of the ABC, mentioned ABC radio in her maiden speech to, started a petition protesting against the Morrison government’s cuts and is “very proud of my ABC socks”.

Her Liberal opponent, Stephanie Asher, has been a bit harder to pin down. In her interview with ABCF Geelong, she described herself as a regular listener to ABC radio and expressed support ‘in principle’ for some of our six election commitments. But she also lamented the supposed bias she detects and questioned whether the ABC is fulfilling its charter.

Then late last week Liberal campaign headquarters in Melbourne provided its written response to our questionnaire on Ms Asher’s behalf and scored 1 out of 6. The only commitment they made was not to privatise the ABC.

The Geelong group is now finalising cards rating the main candidates on their support for the ABC. It has market stalls at Torquay – sandwiched between the Liberal and Labor candidates – and Drysdale this weekend. The group is also revisiting Geelong Station to canvass commuters and will welcome any volunteers who are keen to use the new ratings cards for letterboxing or hand them out at polling booths.

If you’re interested in helping, please email or call ABCF Secretary Jenny Lord on 0431 148 084.