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More proof - Coalition out to get the ABC



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Mr

P A R L IA M E N T O F A U S T R A L IA ยท THE SENATE

SENATOR VICKI BOURNE Senator for New South Wales Australian Democrats Whip

28 January 1997

NEWS RELEASE

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MORE PROOF - COALITION OUT TO GET THE ABC

There is growing evidence of the Federal Government’s long-standing determination to damage the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the Australian Democrats’ Broadcasting and Media Spokesperson, Senator Vicki Bourne, said today.

Senator Bourne’s statement follows the publication in “The Age” of extracts from a 1991 letter by the then Coalition Spokesperson on Communications, Mr Warwick Smith. In the letter Mr Smith advocated a ‘major scaledown of the ABC and a $50 million reduction in funding. The revelation of the existence of this letter follows last week’s leaking of Senator Alston’s submission to Cabinet on the ABC.

“These documents cast doubt on the motives of all Coalition actions on the ABC and discredit the Minister and the Coalition’s communications policy. They can no longer be believed or taken at face value”, Senator Bourne said.

“When assessing any Coalition statement, decision or legislation on the ABC I can now only assume that their motives are based on a strong antipathy towards the ABC.

“This will, of course, include any changes to the Charter which follow the Mansfield Review of the ABC. We will consider very carefully any changes to the Charter but we would have to start from the basis that the public interest is most likely to be protected by voting against any changes advocated by this Government”, Senator Bourne concluded.

For more information, please contact Senator Bourne: 02 247 3377 W or 018 205 407 H

Commonwealth Parliament Offices, 56-70 Phillip Street, Sydney, N.S.W. Postal Address; G.P.O, Box 36, Sydney. N.S.W 2001 Telephone (02) 247 3377 Facsimile (02) 247 9681 Toll Free OOS 651 921