The group Friends of the ABC says the National Party has not responded to a recent survey it sent to federal candidates in Page and Richmond and requests to meet with the party’s Page MP Kevin Hogan and Richmond candidate Matthew Fraser were ‘ignored’
ABC Friends Northern Rivers recently wrote to local MPs and electoral candidates for the three major parties in Page and Richmond, asking them to ‘indicate their position regarding the value and role of the ABC’.
Peter Dickson, President of the Northern Rivers ABC Friends said that ‘our key questions to these politicians and would-be politicians related to maintaining the independence, continued public funding and future direction of our ABC, given the broken promise made prior to the 2014 budget.’
‘In summary,’ Mr Dickson went on to say, ‘unqualified support came from the Greens candidates, with very positive support from the ALP, who pointed to their record of funding the ABC and endorsing its editorial independence’
‘No response was received from the National Party [sitting] member or candidate, and our requests for a meeting were ignored.
‘We found this surprising, given the important role the ABC plays in rural and regional communities, particularly in times of emergencies,’ Mr Dickson said.
ABC Friends Northern Rivers comprises some 250 actively involved voters, from many political persuasions.
The group says it is united by ‘an appreciation of the invaluable contribution that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has made to the community over many decades, providing access to educational, entertainment, performing arts and sports programs and exposure to credible current affairs news broadcasts.’
Mr Dickson added, ‘We believe that the ABC makes a unique contribution to the democratic process and we hope that electors remember that on July 2.’