Senate debates

Monday, 24 November 2014

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

3:06 pm

Photo of Sean EdwardsSean Edwards (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

because even some journalists who had been working in the ABC environment acknowledge the fat that can be cut from the ABC. There have been various columns. There was a column by Amanda Blair in my home state daily several days ago. There is another one this morning from Louise Evans in The Sydney Morning Herald. This is not the coalition 'Hate the ABC' team. This is people who have worked in that environment and said, 'It's as clear and plain as the nose on your face that Mr Scott has got room to move.'

Mr Scott has also had the benefit of an efficiency study that was conducted and headed up by Peter Lewis. Peter Lewis is no lightweight. Peter Lewis is a person who has worked in the media. He has worked for Seven West Media, Sydney Olympic Broadcasting, the Seven Network and the Ten Network. Nothing on the other side of this debate, on the other side of this chamber, compares to the experience that that man and the people that prepared that review have had. This man has been a CFO of a major media organisation. All such organisations are accountable to their shareholders. In the case of the ABC, the shareholders are the Australian taxpayers. The shareholders are voters and taxpayers, and they want a level of efficiency. They do not want shrill calls. Mr Scott has had the benefit of that report. He has been able to look at that report and he has been able to identify the savings that he can make. It is up to him as to what representations he can make, but, on the face of it, you have to say there are people who have worked in the ABC, who have trod the halls and the studios of the ABC, who know that the efficiencies are there. To say that Mr Scott is going to hollow out the ABC and there are mass production costs in all these centres is somewhat hollow, because these places that he talks of are sheds and darkrooms not the size of a bedroom.

Senator O'Neill interjecting—

Senator O'Neill on the other side is squawking somewhat about these issues, but I would be interested in her representation about what the ABC should not have to do or that they should remain unaccountable, unlike any other government department. (Time expired)


No comments