Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 3054

Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (14:21): My question is to the Minister for Communications, Senator Fifield. Before becoming Prime Minister, Tony Abbott promised that there would be no cuts to the ABC. He broke that promise and cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the ABC's budget. Now, under Prime Minister Turnbull, the government has cut another $84 million from the ABC's budget. Minister, why on earth would we trust you or the Prime Minister when you say you won't privatise the ABC? Why would anyone trust anything that your government says when, over and over again, you've misled the Australian people and you've broken your promise?


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaMinister for Communications, Minister for the Arts and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:21): I thank Senator Hanson-Young for her question, which I comprehensively answered in response to a nearly identical question from Senator Wong. I refer Senator Hanson-Young to my earlier answer.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hanson-Young, a supplementary question.



Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (14:22): Senator Abetz supports privatising the ABC. Senator Paterson supports privatising the ABC. How many other members hide on the government benches who support selling off the ABC? Who's in charge: Malcolm Turnbull or Senator Abetz?


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaMinister for Communications, Minister for the Arts and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:22): The position of the government is as it has always been and as it will always be: the ABC will remain in government ownership, in trust, for the Australian community.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hanson-Young, a final supplementary question.



Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (14:23): The minister may not have seen all the members on his backbench who put their hands up and said, 'Yes, we want to sell off the ABC.' Minister, as a former staff member of the IPA and as a member of the IPA—as Georgina Downer, the candidate for Mayo, is—can you please explain why the government keeps preselecting members who want to sell off the ABC?

Senator Cormann: On a point of order, that question is entirely out of order. It does not relate to the minister's area of portfolio responsibility. The minister does not have responsibility in his portfolio for preselection matters in the Liberal Party.

The PRESIDENT: We have traditionally taken a wide berth with respect to relevance. I'll give the minister the opportunity to respond to the question, if he wishes.




Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaMinister for Communications, Minister for the Arts and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:24): Georgina Downer is an outstanding parliamentary candidate and will make an impressive and ceaseless member for the seat of Mayo. I join with all my colleagues on this side in working towards seeing Georgina Downer in the Australian parliament, where she would make a magnificent contribution.