MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
GOVERNMENT ABC CUTS DEPRIVE REGIONAL AUSTRALIA
An explosive report out today claims the Morrison Government rejected an ABC proposal to invest tens of millions of dollars in regional services and emergency broadcasting capabilities, as did the Turnbull Government before it.
This means that by refusing to reverse his $83.7 million worth of cuts to the ABC, Scott Morrison has cut vital news and emergency broadcasting services to regional Australia.
These revelations expose the utter hypocrisy of the Morrison Government when it comes to regional Australia and keeping Australians safe.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Several government sources have confirmed Mr Fletcher did not reply to the letter, nor did he discuss the proposal with the ABC or his National Party colleagues, who have constantly raised concerns over the future of regional media outlets, following a spate of natural disasters including last summer's fires.”
It beggars belief that the Nationals didn’t know about these proposals but, if true, they must demand the resignation of Paul Fletcher as Minister for Communications for this unforgivable failure on regional media.
Where are the Nats?
Where is the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack?
Where is the Minister for Regional Communications, Mark Coulton?
Regional media is in crisis and has been pushed to the brink of market failure on the seven year watch of this inept Liberal National Government.
In June 2019 the ACCC delivered a report to Government which warned that news deserts are emerging in Australia and that the public broadcasters are not adequately resourced to fill the breach.
Since then, the devastating closures of hundreds of regional and community newspapers means there is increasing and urgent need for ABC newsgathering.
What’s more, evidence to the bushfires Royal Commission makes it clear that ABC local radio broadcast network resilience is an area of need which the Government has neglected.
This Government makes of lot of saying the ABC doesn’t do enough for regional Australia, even as they cut ABC funding.
ABC emergency coverage saved lives during the summer bushfires and staff came off leave to ensure Australians were kept informed. Now 250 dedicated ABC staff face the sack as a result of Scott Morrison’s cuts.
Labor has always insisted these cuts must be reversed, and the Nationals should too.
When Scott Morrison cuts the ABC, Australians miss out – and he plays regional Australians for mugs.
SATURDAY, 27 JUNE 2020