Walkley Award-winning reporter and writer Quentin Dempster says the decision to appoint Minerals’ Council chair Vanessa Guthrie to the ABC Board was a “direct ‘political’ choice” that is “provocative and revealing”. As Doc Martin reports, it seems to many like a return to the bad old days of political stacking.
THE MOVE to appoint Vanessa Guthrie, against the advice of an “arms-length” process, follows years of “arrogant disregard” by the major political parties to complaints about “stacking the ABC Board with political partisans,” says veteran reporter Quentin Dempster.
Dempster also told Independent Australia that Guthrie “misunderstood” the importance of being an effective lobbyist for the national broadcaster in front of Parliament and the Government.
Quentin Dempster is a former ABC staff representative on the ABC Board and now an outspoken critic of successive governments cutting funding.
He hopes the plight of the ABC and SBS will become a major issue at the next federal election.
“All Australians who want our public broadcasters to contribute to a sense of national identity and multi-cultural cohesion will have to stand up for these institutions.”
The well-loved broadcaster and journalist says Michelle Guthrie “stuffed up” in her role as managing director of the ABC in front of the Senate Estimates Committee at the end of February.
Traditionally, the public role of a managing director has been “to build bridges with the government and the parliament and specifically with the Expenditure Review Committee to secure additional funding,” Dempster says.
Failing this, Dempster says, the MD should “at least try to diminish Treasury’s claw back tactics.”
Quentin Dempster in 2014 condemning ABC budget cuts
Read the rest of this story at Independent Australia