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ABC MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS--SELECT COMMITTEE--VARIATION OF
APPOINTMENT

Senator O'Chee, by leave and at the request of the Chair of the Select

Committee on ABC Management and Operations (Senator Alston), moved that

the resolution of the Senate of 21 September 1994 be modified as

follows:

Paragraph (1), omit the paragraph, substitute the following

paragraphs:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on

ABC Management and Operations, be appointed to inquire into and

report, on or before 1 March 1995, on the following matters with

respect to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

(a) whether the matters referred to in paragraphs 2(a) to (f)

are symptoms of a deep-seated problem within the board,

management and organisation of the ABC; and, if so,

(b) whether any such problem arises from dysfunction or conflict

between:

(i) the current operational goals and direction of the ABC,

and the corporation's legislative charter and the

board's duties;

(ii) the composition of the board, or part of it, and the

management, or part of it, in implementing the charter

or discharging the duties to achieve and reflect

appropriate policy direction, public standing and

political independence;

(c) the extent to which inadequate budget funding is responsible

for the ABC's increased dependence on external funding; and

(d) the impact and potential impact of external funding on the

ABC's editorial independence.

(2) The matters to be referred to are:

(a) the alleged failure of Australia Television to penetrate its

target markets in Asia, with a resultant waste of scarce

funds otherwise earmarked for maintenance of quality

national broadcasting;

(b) controversial proposals to abolish regional Australian

Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV News, advocated with great

vigour by ABC Management, and rejected by the ABC Board;

(c) recent evidence that ABC program sponsorship rules may have

been significantly and deliberately breached in a number of

ABC co-productions that have gone to air;

(d) the alleged continuing high level of resignations and

departures from the ABC of senior, experienced broadcasting

managers and program makers;

(e) the controversy surrounding appointments to the Board of the

ABC, including concerns that individual merit and potential

contribution to the policy direction, public standing and

the political independence of the ABC are no longer the sole

criteria for such appointments; and

(f) continuing public concern about the nature and extent of the

ABC's involvement in commercial activities.

Question put and passed.