This government has always supported and respected the ABC’s legislated independence. That is why the government’s appointments to the ABC Board have always been made in accordance with the ABC’s legislation.
The claims being made by GetUp! and their friends in the Labor Party are disingenuous and misleading. As someone who clearly cares about the ABC you deserve to be told the truth, especially since the process for ABC Board appointments was designed and legislated by Labor when last in government.
The Coalition Government has followed Labor’s legislated process and has made each and every one of its ABC Board appointments in full compliance to the letter of the law. Labor has in the past appointed a former Labor pollster, a former Labor Premier and former Labor staff. This Coalition Government has not made and will not make any political appointments to the ABC Board.
As with ABC Board vacancies, the ABC’s Act requires an independent nomination panel process to be initiated when there is a vacancy for the position of Chair. The independent panel makes recommendations, and if a person is appointed other than through panel nomination, the government acts transparently by tabling a statement in the Parliament explaining the reasons for the decision.
The government has initiated this process and Korn Ferry has been engaged by the Department of Communications and the Arts to assist the panel. Korn Ferry is a well-known global executive recruitment agency. Neither the Minister nor the government had any involvement in this decision.
Under the Coalition the ABC has continued to receive over $1 billion in funding each year. The level of funding being provided is increasing year on year which means that in a rapidly changing media environment, the ABC has greater funding certainty