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ABC vendetta exposed

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P A R L I A M E N T OF A U S T R A L I A ยท T H E S E N A T E

SENATOR VICKI BOURNE Senator for New South Wales

. Australian Democrats Whip

11 June 199 7 97/407



The Government’s credibility has been damaged by revelations of alleged Prime Ministerial involvement in the vendetta against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Australian Democrats said today.

Today’s Australian carries a report that the Prime Minister's Press Secretary and the office of the Minister for Communications prepared questions for Liberal Senators on ABC programming, staff cuts and Kerry O’Brien's position and role.

“It is absolutely inappropriate for the Government to interfere or to seek to give a view on these matters,” said Senator Vicki Bourne, Media and Broadcasting Spokesperson for the Democrats.

“Under the ABC Act the ABC is guaranteed independence. It is a statutory authority and as such is autonomous from Government. It is the role of the ABC Board, not Government, to make decisions about policy and direction.”

“This latest leak reveals a malicious pettiness and small-mindedness against the ABC and individual employees at the highest levels of government.

“Surely they have more important things to do, like dealing with issues such as unemployment, Wik, Aboriginal reconciliation, the race debate, etc, etc.

“Another Ministerial denial on the ABC is not good enough.”

For more information, olease contact Senator Bourne: 02 9247 3377 W or 018 205 407 H

Commonwealth Parliament Offices, 70 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW Postal Address: GPO Box 36, Sydney NSW 2001 Telephone (02) 9247 3377 Facsimile (02) 9247 9631 Toll free 1300 651 921