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Thursday, 4 February 2010
Page: 416


Mr McCLELLAND (Attorney-General) (9:45 AM) —The purpose of the National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 is to amend the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 and the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 to implement a new merit based appointment process for the ABC and the SBS boards. The bill also reinstates the position of staff-elected director of the ABC board. Schedule 1 to the bill establishes a merit based appointment process for ABC and SBS non-executive directors with the following features. The assessment of applicants claims will be undertaken by an independent nomination panel established at arms-length from government. Vacancies will be widely advertised, at a minimum in national and/or state and territory newspapers, and on the website of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The assessment of candidates will be made against a core set of selection criteria, supplemented where necessary with additional criteria as determined by the minister. A report containing a short list of recommended candidates will be provided to either the minister or Prime Minister by the nomination panel. Schedule 2 to the bill re-establishes the position of staff-elected director to the ABC board.