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ABC - death of a thousand cuts?

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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A ยท T H E S E N A T E . y

SENATOR VICKI BOURNE Senator for New South Wales Australian Democrats Whip

21 June 1996 96/348



Cutbacks to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation must not be included in the 1996/97 Federal Budget, the Australian Democrats said today.

Communications Spokesperson for the Democrats, Senator Vicki Bourne said "While the ABC is not a “sacred cow ”, it’s a lot more than just another broadcaster.

“In a wasteland of soaps, sit-coms and life-style programmes (and that’s just television!) the national broadcasters stand as the one remaining, if fading, choice Australians have for a little variety and uninterrupted, intelligent entertainment.

"Free, as it currently is, from ratings desperation and sponsor pressure, an independent ABC is vital to the survival of Australian culture.

“A fatal combination of action and inaction by successive Australian governments and oppositions has led to the continuing decline in media diversity in Australia. This also poses a threat to our culture and democracy.

“If the mooted 10% cutback goes through, it would be a disaster. The usual people would suffer...people in the bush, people who want to see their TV and radio look and sound Australian, people who want to know about the country they live in...and children.

“During its term the Labor government became master of the art of ABC whittling. In 1996, after thirteen years of consistent and remorseless cutbacks, there is a very real danger that further cuts in funding will turn the ABC from a vital protector of the Australianness of Australia to a sadly mourned memory.”

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

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Commonwealth Parliament Offices. 56-70 Phillip Street Sydney, N.S.W. Postal Address. Q.P.O. Box 36, Sydney. N.S.W. 2001 Telephone (02) 247 3377 Facsimile (02) 247 9681