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ABC and fightback! Predictable response

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JmL· MEDIA RELEASE Warwick Smith MR Shadow Minister for Communications

Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives—

2 June 1992

ABC and Fightback!

Predictable Response

The response of the ABC Board today to Fightback! is predictable and empty of the creativity on which the ABC prides itself.

It's all huff and puff, a puppet show pulling on the emotional strings of its audience. It happens to Government every year at Budget time and must be the signal a Coalition victory is in the making.

I have sought a continuous dialogue with both the ABC Board and Management about these matters. It is disappointing but not unexpected that the action taken has been in the form it has.

As the draft press release, prepared by the Managing Director and his assistant, was leaked to my office last Saturday and remains essentially in the same form the only conclusion that can be reached is that the Board is powerless in the face of management.

The Coalition does not accept the rational behind the draconian measures threatened by the ABC and does not accept the claim that there is no "fat" left in the system. Productivity levels are nowhere near the commercial networks and we should be asking why this is so.

If the ABC Board and Management had the creativity shown by many of its producers it would seek to find more effective ways of coping with the very necessary reductions in Government expenditure proposed by Fightback!. A 10% cut is no more than is being asked of a range of Government instrumentalities at both State and Federal level and certainly is one being experienced by households

nationwide. The ABC is not a special case. It, too, must share the rigours of the recession and the fight back to prosperity.



Contact: Vivienne Shield (06) 277 3332