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Flint must stand down from hearing ABC complaints.

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/328 THURSDAY 29 APRIL 2004 SENATOR JOHN CHERRY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS COMMUNICATIONS SPOKESPERSON Flint Must Stand Down From Hearing ABC Complaints The Australian Democrats have called on Australian Broadcasting Authority Chair David Flint to stand aside from the ABA's current investigation of Government complaints against the ABC. Democrats Communications spokesperson Senator John Cherry said Professor Flint's position had been "hopelessly compromised" and he was seen as too partisan a figure to be dealing with these complaints. "Professor Flint has continued to be politically active and his views on the ABC, Alan Jones, the Iraqi war and many other political issues are well known," Senator Cherry said. "In the current environment, it is essential that the ABA be seen to be above any perceptions of bias or political impartiality. "I cannot see how Professor Flint can chair this politically charged inquiry and be seen to be impartial. "Professor Flint has just six months to run on his term as ABA Chair. He should give careful consideration to the damage that his comments have done to the standing of the ABA, and consider whether it would be in the best interests of the ABA for him to stand down early from the position. "The Democrats want a merit-based appointment process free from any political interference to be used for all future ABA appointments. "I will be moving to amend the Broadcasting Services Act to require this when the Parliament resumes in two weeks, and call on the Opposition and the Government to support such amendments. "The ABA, as the media regulator, must be seen to be above the political fray, and it cannot afford to have a Chair, or any member, perceived to be batting for one side," Senator Cherry concluded. Media Contact - Pam Hose - 0408 752 750