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Merit based appointments essential following Flint revelations.



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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/324 WEDNESDAY 28 APRIL 2004 SENATOR JOHN CHERRY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS COMMUNICATIONS SPOKESPERSON Merit based appointments essential following Flint revelations Appointments to the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) Board must be merit based rather that subject to political interference by politicians or broadcasters according to the Australian Democrats. Democrats Communications spokesperson Senator John Cherry, said allegations that broadcaster Alan Jones demanded David Flint be reappointed as ABA Chair, shows how open the current process is to inappropriate political interference. “The ABA, as the regulator of media standards, must be seen to be above politics and that means its Chair and its Board must be seen to be above politics,” Senator Cherry said. “If the allegation about Mr Jones is true, it raises serious questions about the appointment of David Flint as ABA Chair and makes his position as an impartial regulator increasingly untenable. “With a new ABA Chair needing to be appointed by October, the Democrats believe a robust merit based appointment process is absolutely crucial. “I will be moving to make all appointments merit based and reduce the opportunity for political interference, when the media ownership bill returns to the Senate in two weeks,” concluded Senator Cherry. Media Contact - Pam Hose - 0408 752 750