Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia needs special laws to protect its independent broadcaster – the ABC

Special laws needed to budget-proof the ABC, says former PM Kevin Rudd, The Age, Peter Hartcher and James Massola, 25 Nov 17, 

The ABC needs to have its budget protected from future attack by special legislation, according to former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

The former Labor leader said that while the national broadcaster’s independence was enshrined in law, its $1.04 billion annual budget was vulnerable. In an interview on the 10th anniversary of leading Labor to power, Mr Rudd said that one of his regrets was that his government didn’t protect the ABC budget against assault by a future Coalition government.

“To fix its baseline budget and entrench it in legislation with an automatic CPI acceleration would have been helpful,” Mr Rudd said.

The ABC was at particular risk from a future conservative government doing the bidding of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, he said.

 “Given Murdoch’s historical commitment to kill public broadcasting, something to have considered at the time was not to re-legislate the independence of the ABC but to entrench its budget,” he said. Mr Rudd also rued that he didn’t declare “open war” on News Corporation during his time as prime minister.

“I regret deferring constantly to the advice of my cabinet colleagues and not declaring open war on News Corporation. “It became clear early in the government’s life that, when we would not commit to the News Corporation agenda, they set out to destroy the government.”

His government’s decision to build the National Broadband Network was a threat to Murdoch’s Fox entertainment channels distributed through Foxtel cable, said the current president of the New York-based Asia Society Policy Institute.

“The current dominance of Murdoch represents a growing cancer on Australian democracy,” Mr Rudd said. He urged a future Labor government to hold a royal commission into New Corporation’s relationship with the Coalition…….http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/special-laws-needed-to-budgetproof-the-abc-says-former-pm-kevin-rudd-20171124-gzskmq.html

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November 25, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, media

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