The ABC - 04/03/2020

04 March 2020



In estimates yesterday, despite denials from Senator Reynolds, my colleague Senator Marielle Smith confirmed with the ABC that their budget has been brutally cut by subsequent coalition governments. With the closure of AAP the latest example of the fourth estate in strife, the ABC is ever more vital to the health of our democracy. Anyone who saw Leigh Sales's interview with the Prime Minister last night knows that this government needs to be held to account. The bushfire crisis this summer demonstrated just how vitally important the ABC is and why it needs to be properly resourced. Every day, the work of ABC staff in the press gallery in this building ensures Australians know what is being done in this place in their name.

Canberra stories are also important, and I want to acknowledge our local ABC team. ABC Radio Canberra has frequently topped the radio ratings here in Canberra, with world-class presenters Lish Fejer, Adam Shirley, Paula Kruger, Anna Vidot, Adrienne Francis, Hannah Walmsley and Kim Huynh—and Graham 'Willow' Williams answering all your gardening questions on the weekend. ABC Canberra also produces our highly valued 7.00 pm news bulletin, with Dan Bourchier welcoming the audience with a friendly yuma, which means hello in the language of the Ngunawal people, the traditional custodians of the land we now call Canberra. Thanks to Dan and the ABC team for leading the way, partnering with the United Ngunnawal Elders to take this recognition seriously. Labor has always and will always support the ABC.