The Communications Minister’s review into the ABC and SBS is a political stunt from a Minister whose default position on any hard issue is to order another review.
Minister Rowland has clearly been embarrassed by the criticisms of her on the ABC’s decisions to scrap Sunday night state TV news services and the axing of 120 jobs, including its political editor, Andrew Probyn.
With the ABC facing serious issues on its direction, board positions are being left vacant while the Minister announces a review into appointments.
At the very time the ABC requires strong and stable leadership from its board, the Minister is sending a message of drift and inaction on the national broadcaster.
There are many serious issues for the ABC board to address, such as ensuring regional Australia is served well by the national broadcaster. Another review is not the answer.
Minister Rowland thinks that holding a review and dusting off some old issues from her Opposition days amounts to action. It does not.
When it became clear that NBN’s satellite business was starting to tumble to earth, Minister Rowland set up a committee.
With the television industry seeking agreement on a crucial prominence framework, the Minister deferred to another committee.
Our national broadcasters need action, drive and leadership. Not a Minister for reviews.
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications