Public and Politicians gather in #Canberra to rally against #OurABC cuts: @jeevens reports

Jeremy Stevens

Jeremy Stevens

Citizen Journalist at No Fibs
Jeremy Stevens is a final year journalism student, with a major in national security, at the University of Canberra. He is the Education Vice-President of the University of Canberra Students' Association for 2015.
Jeremy Stevens
- 1 day ago
Jeremy Stevens

“No if’s. No buts. No ABC cuts,” chanted the crowd gathered outside Parliament House yesterday in response to the recently announced ABC and SBS funding cuts. It was the final rally in a series supporting the Our stories Our future Our ABC campaign, a joint initiative involving the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), and ABC Friends.

Michael Tull (@Michtull), National President of the Community and Public Sector Union, emceed the event that kicked off at 11:30am yesterday. Jason Clare (@JasonClareMP), the Shadow Minister for Communications, was the first to address the crowd. He spoke about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s (@TonyAbbottMHR) broken election promise and the effect that the cuts will have on the ABC.

“It’s no secret that there are a lot of Liberal and National MPs, up there in that building, who don’t like the ABC very much. But the problem for them is that most Australians do. The ABC is the most loved, trusted, and respected public institution in this country.” – Jason Clare

“The people of Australia love the ABC, and they don’t like this government. And Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull and the rest of them ignore that at their peril. So we’ve got a message for them today: the Labor Party will fight you on this, and the Labor Party will fight to protect and support the ABC.” – Jason Clare

You can view Mr Clare’s entire speech on YouTube.

Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp), Leader of the Opposition, spoke next, attacking the proposed funding cuts to the broadcasters.

No if's, no buts, no ABC cuts. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

No if’s, no buts, no ABC cuts. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Nadine Flood (@NadineFloodCPSU), National Secretary of the CPSU, spoke after Mr Shorten, calling for the Lewis Review into the ABC to be released, despite the Government withholding it under claims that the report contains “commercially sensitive information”.

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam: Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam: Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Christine Milne (@senatormilne), Australian Greens Leader and Senator, then took to the stage to speak, before introducing Greens Senator Scott Ludlam (@SenatorLudlam), who took the opportunity to condemn the funding cuts.

Independent Senator Nick  Xenophon. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Senator Nick Xenophon (@Nick_Xenophon), an independent Senator for South Australia, then addressed those gathered on the lawns, and like the speakers before him, he was critical of the funding cuts.

Mr Tull then returned to close the event with a few final remarks.

The rally ended with the crowd singing the campaign’s official anthem – the Play School theme song (you can view footage of this at the Sydney rally) – and with a giant effigy of Mr Abbott wandering around the lawns.

“No ifs, no buts, no ABC cuts” A video posted by Hannah (@tfq_) on

Giant Abbott. Photo Jeremy Stevens

Giant Abbott. Photo Jeremy Stevens

Giant Abbott. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Giant Abbott. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

No if's, no buts, no ABC cuts. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

No if’s, no buts, no ABC cuts. Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Hours after the rally, Mr Abbott indirectly admitted regret in regards to his previous statement before being elected, when he said that there would be no cuts to the ABC or SBS. Mr Shorten has stated that while he could not commit to restoring the budgets, should Labor win at the next election, they would “increase funding to the ABC.” [Additional source] Mr Abbott also accused Mr Shorten of “talking about something he intends to do himself. He has his own cuts in mind for the ABC.”

The budget cuts will be examined by a Senate Select Committee in a public hearing on December 12 in Canberra, where Labor and Greens senators will question cabinet ministers about the cuts. Mark Scott, the ABC’s Managing Director, will also be asked to explain why certain sections of the ABC were affected by the cuts and why others were not. The Greens’ Communications Spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, will chair the inquiry, and it will be broadcast.


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Comments


  1. But no Chissy hissy Pyne after his plea on twitter to back his petition. Poor love must have been suck in that damn closet


  2. The ABC is also Australia’s most respected broad caster WORLDWIDE you will not be forgotten mrrabbitt but remembered in the negative.