Independent Helen Haines condemns push to privatise the ABC and calls for increased funding

Independent candidate for Indi Helen Haines today condemned proposals to privatise the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and promised to champion more funding for the national broadcaster if elected to federal Parliament on May 18.

Dr Haines said a strong ABC was vital for rural communities and called on all candidates publicly to oppose privatisation.

“The ABC is crucial for regional and rural communities like ours in Indi,” she said.

“Not only does it help to connect our people and communities during bushfires and other emergencies – it tells rural and regional stories that city-based commercial media organisations just don’t cover.

“From Violet Town to Corryong and Mansfield to Rutherglen, I have heard again and again how important the ABC is to the people of Indi.

“I am deeply concerned by this revived push by the Sydney-based Institute of Public Affairs to privatise the ABC.

“We know the IPA has the ear of the Liberal Party so we need strong advocates for our national broadcaster elected to Parliament who will stand up for the ABC and its independence.

View Helen Haines' ABC policy statement here.

“Tim Fischer, the highly-respected former deputy prime minister of this country, said ‘The ABC is part of the core, official fabric of the nation’.

“I agree with him and that is why I will fight any attempts to privatise the ABC.

“I will also fight for the indexation freeze on ABC funding to be lifted.

“We need to put an end to governments attempting to interfere in the running of the ABC.

“That is why I will support proposals to de-politicise ABC board appointments, including suspension of the communications minister’s power to veto those appointments except where there is cross-party and parliamentary consultation.

“I challenge all other candidates in Indi to stand up for the ABC and back these sensible proposals to defend our valuable and cherished public broadcaster.”

ENDS

For comment:
Helen Haines M 0436 122 029

For media information:
Jamie Kronborg  0409 912 967