Greens hail Bill to improve the independence of the ABC Board
Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam welcomed the passage of the National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill which strengthens the ABC Board against political meddling and returns a staff representative to the body.
"The Board must be independent so that the ABC can fearlessly report on, expose and explore all issues, even those that make the Government of the day and other powerful vested interests uncomfortable.
"Unbiased journalism is one very important pillar of what a healthy, functional democracy depends upon. No Government should be allowed to appoint or influence who sits on the ABC Board."
Senator Ludlam said the Howard Government had attempted to stack the ABC board with ideological allies, a phenomenon that should never be repeated by any party in power.
"I urged the Government to maintain a ban on former politicians and senior political staffers being appointed to the board of the ABC, to no avail. As a second resort I moved an amendment that would ensure that at least that former politicians and senior staffers must go through the nomination and merit-based selection process. That amendment won the support of the Government and passed the Senate."