Former Geelong Mayor and Melbourne Deputy Mayor Peter McMullin AM ran a full-page ad in the Geelong Advertiser last Saturday to urge voters to protect the ABC from a “fragile future under a re-elected coalition government”.
In his open letter, Mr McMullin said that while all governments dislike being held to account by the ABC, “this government has taken their hostility to another level”.
“Since 2014 the government has persistently bullied and publicly attacked the ABC, slashed its funding, cancelled its Asia/Pacific broadcasting contract, interfered with its independence, sanctioned police raids on ABC offices and caused a net loss of 600 experienced and respected staff and many important programs,” he wrote
“In 2018 the Liberal Party federal council voted to privatise the ABC. Government ministers say this will never happen, but can we trust them?”
Mr McMullin’s open letter referred people wanting to know more about the “very real” threats to the ABC to the ABC Friends Victoria website.
He closed the letter by urging the people of Greater Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast to “vote for candidates that support a strong, independent ABC”.
We are promoting the letter widely on social media this week.
Peter McMullin AM
Mr McMullin was Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1996 to 1999 and Geelong Mayor in 2005-2006. He was also President of the Geelong Art Gallery and Chair of the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre.
He and his wife, Ruth, have become a major philanthropic force in recent years, with a particular focus on supporting organisations which assist refugees and indigenous Australians and work to enhance education, international cooperation, the arts and creative industries.