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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3205

Ms BURKE (Chisholm) (13:58): On the week before the budget, I make a plea to the government to keep their promise not to cut the funding for the ABC or the SBS. These are vital services to my neck of the woods. Many people within my electorate are paid-up members of Friends of the ABC and many people in my electorate, where 47 per cent were born overseas, are duly reliant upon the SBS to bring them their news coverage from home every night and morning of the week. These services are vital to our community. They should not be put at risk, nor should they listen to the recent comments from the Prime Minister when he stated:

It dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everybody's side but our own.

The alternative, the Minister for Communications, at least did come out defending the ABC and the recent audit, commissioned by the ABC board, by Mr Stone, a well-known and respected journalist from his days at 60 Minutes, reported in The Australian:

'As an independent observer, I found no grounds for concern' in any measurements of bias or prioritising of particular viewpoints.

The ABC should be preserved and the government should—

The SPEAKER: I interrupt the honourable member. In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.