ABC board members are normally selected through an independent process. A special panel recommends three finalists to the Communications Minister, who then makes the final selection.
But not this time - Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has hand-picked the Head of the Minerals Council Vanessa Guthrie for a five-year term on the ABC board. In a startling break with practice, he has ignored the panel’s recommendation.
A professional lobbyist for the mining industry has no place on the ABC board. Minister Fifield's decision ignored the established process and served the interests of the mining lobby. With a public outcry, we can call him out and make him reverse his captain's call.
An independent ABC is critical to our democracy. That’s why the nomination process in independent. While the Minister makes the final say, the process is designed to avoid political interference.
Yet Minister Fifield has ignored the conventional process. By directly selecting a mining industry lobbyist for the board, he is attacking the ABC’s ability to offer fair, balanced and critical reporting.
As citizens, we need our public broadcaster to be strong and independent. It’s how we can hold the Government and corporations accountable.
Say no to a mining lobbyist on the ABC board.