Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
I, and also on behalf of Senator Hanson-Young, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes Triple J's decision to move its iconic Hottest 100 from 26 January to the fourth weekend in January;
(b) acknowledges the consultation process undertaken, in which almost 65 000 people participated in a questionnaire about the Hottest 100 date, with 60 per cent in favour of moving the date;
(c) notes the Triple J Hottest 100 debuted on 5 March 1989;
(d) reminds the Minister for the Arts and the Minister for Communications (Senator Fifield), of the importance of the independence of the ABC, and calls on him not to interfere with decisions of the broadcaster; and
(e) urges other organisations and community groups to consult their communities about celebrations and events held on 26 January.
The coalition government does not support this motion. The overwhelming majority of Australians support our national day, Australia Day, being held on 26 January. The ABC should respect this fact. Minister Fifield has not sought to interfere with the decisions of the broadcaster. He has expressed a view about this decision, making clear that the government does not support it, and called on the ABC to reconsider it. All Australians fund the ABC with their taxes, and all Australians are entitled to express a view about the ABC. The Greens' ongoing efforts to delegitimise Australia Day are shameful and should be strongly resisted.
It just shows how out of touch this government is. Triple J held a consultation process; they held a survey. They actually asked their listeners, who overwhelmingly said, 'We want to hear Australia's top 100—the best 100—on a day that is not 26 January'. They said very clearly that they don't want it associated with a day that causes grief and mourning to Australia's first peoples—a day that, from the very start, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have articulated their opposition to. The government also conveniently forgets that the Hottest 100 didn't start on Australia Day, so there's no 'history' there that they are defending. They are simply on the wrong side of history. The date will change. (Time expired)