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Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Page: 1491


Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (16:04): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator LUDLAM: I cannot let a statement like that go past. It is entirely provocative to see the kind of behaviour that has been engaged in by coalition backbenchers all the way through to the communications minister and the Prime Minister attempting to bully, intimidate, judge and second-guess the national broadcaster. In February and March when a number of relatively modest media reform proposals came before this chamber by the Labor Party, some of which were supported by the Greens, the people who shrieked the most, who were the most strident about independence and a free press are now the ones who are trying to gag the ABC. How inappropriate for the Prime Minister and the communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to be carpeting ABC director Mark Scott and second-guessing editorial decisions. It is absolutely inappropriate. I cannot believe coalition members would be voting against a motion that does nothing more or less than defend the editorial independence and the funding basis of our treasured national broadcaster. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.