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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 240

Communications: Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Services

(Question No. 284)


Ms Rowland asked the Minister for Communications, in writing, on 27 August 2014:

When will the (a) Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and (b) Special Broadcasting Services (SBS) Board, vacancies be filled, including the role of Chairman of the SBS which has been vacant since 27 March 2014?


Mr Turnbull: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 (ABC Act) and the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 (SBS Act), a merit-based appointment process must be followed before the appointment of non-executive Directors, including the Chairperson, to the ABC and SBS Boards by the Governor-General.

(2) Under section 24F of the ABC Act, the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet appoints a four person independent nomination panel to assess potential candidates for the ABC and SBS Boards against the selection criteria on the basis of merit.

(3) Under section 24B of the ABC Act and section 43 of the SBS Act, the Panel conducts the assessment process for ABC and SBS Board vacancies and then provides a written report to the Minister for Communications on the outcome of the process and a recommendation of at least three candidates per vacancy (in the case of the ABC Chairperson this report is given to the Prime Minister).

(4) For the current vacancies (one ABC non-executive director, the SBS Chairperson and one SBS non-executive director), the Panel has conducted the selection process and provided its written report to the Minister for Communications.

(5) The Government is currently considering the report's recommendations and will finalise the appointments to the ABC and SBS Boards in due course.