Senate Report Finds Political Interference At ABC, Calls For Overhaul

Senate Report Finds Political Interference At ABC, Calls For Overhaul
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A Senate committee report has found “varying degrees” of political interference throughout the ABC.

The committee, which is predominantly Labor-dominated, has been looking into allegations of political interference within the ABC.

Allegations came to light after ex-managing director Michelle Guthrie was dismissed and accused former-chairman Justin Milne of attempting to fire two senior reporters because he said the government did not like them.

The report, which investigated the recent “unprecedented” events coming out of the ABC, found there is the “prospect of political interference” from the government.

The report said: “The committee believes that political interference or the prospect of political interference, and all that that entails, is experienced to varying degrees throughout the ABC.”

It also said: “Should Australian Governments continue to undermine and erode the independence and integrity of the corporation, the ABC’s status as a trusted institution will be significantly diminished.”

The committee recommended an overhaul of the ABC’s selection criteria for board members to make sure only applicants who had substantial media experience were chosen.

However, coalition senators on the committee wrote a dissenting report, which rejected there was political interference at the ABC.

The report said: “The inquiry found no evidence of political interference by the Government or the former prime minister,” the dissenting report reads.

“Claims that there have been attacks on the ABC have not been substantiated by the inquiry.”

An ABC spokesperson said in a statement the broadcaster’s leaders would review the report.

Following on from the report, the SMH this morning reported the 2019 budget will reveal good news for the ABC, with the Morrison government set to renew its funding of the public broadcaster with $44 million committed over the next three years, according to multiple sources.

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