Commercial broadcasters' standards are enforced with sanctions - the ABC has an in-house club
Brendan Nelson's resignation letter should be submitted today - how did the National Press Club miss this?

The National Commission of Audit should examine ABC and SBS funding in detail - with your help

Reader Marmion sent me this note - a lot of thought's gone into this and Marmion makes tremendously good sense.


The broad terms of reference of the Audit Commission enables a close examination of the ABC &SBS for duplication and waste leading to a cut-back on their funding and even their sale.

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It is better for the Government to receive and act on an "independent" recommendation about the ABC and like bodies than initiate its own action which would be portrayed as "political interference" in the "independent" ABC.

So, when the Audit Commission calls shortly for submissions, critics of the ABC should respond smartly.

I suggest the key words to focus on are DUPLICATION, WASTE, The INTERNET and STRUCTURAL.

Specifically, the Audit Commission is asked to look at DUPLICATION between the Commonwealth and the States, but the same consideration would apply when looking at Federal Government agencies such as the ABC & SBS. It is also empowered to recommend on asset sales.

The ABC and the SBS duplicate each other and within their own operations there is considerable duplication between outlets offering the same or similar content. The multiplicity of their television and radio outlets results in them acquiring programmes from foreign public and private broadcasters to fill in air-time.

Even the Friends of the ABC criticise its acquisition of foreign content rather than developing its own content. Lack of funds is suggested as the issue.

However, it is more likely that waste of funds by duplication of services and outlets is the root cause.

For example, the ABC and SBS both run the BBC World Service throughout the night. Why?

ABC's Radio National runs programmes from the UK's new Internet producer & broadcaster Monocle 24. Why?

See at

and at

"Monocle 24 has a content-sharing agreement with Radio National in Australia that includes its Culture programme and The Urbanist[15] and also sells its shows to the CBC in Canada. Programmes can be listened to live or downloaded at and are also available on iTunes."

ABC Radio National broadcasts New Dimensions programmes. Yet, they are available by listener subscription on the Internet directly at the Website of New Dimensions in the USA.

See at-

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Monocle 24 is a private company modelled on the BBC  with the express intention of taking over public broadcast space. “Tyler Brûlé said “From the point of view its ambitions for global reach and coverage of world affairs, Monocle 24 will probably resemble and sound like many commonwealth public service broadcasters, including BBC World Service, as well as shades of ABC and Canada’s CBC. We are hoping to create a station which follows the tradition of the great Commonwealth broadcasters. It’s no surprise that we have drawn a lot of great people from the BBC World Service.

Whilst, Monocle 24 is an example of private enterprise willing and able to move into areas public broadcasters claim as their domain. But why are Australian taxpayers paying the overhead costs here in Australia for this private sector body to expand its operations?


The Internet enables  audiences to tune into radio broadcasts or to subscribe to broadcasts globally, so why do we need the capital cost of the ABC and SBS, simply to re-broadcast these foreign programmes?

Ironically, higher broadband speeds touted for the NBN offers more opportunity for interested parties to download foreign programmes directly without the need for the ABC or the SBS doing so at great expense.

It is not even clear in the ABC's Charter that it is permitted to broadcast foreign programmes. It may be desirable to do so to educate or entertain the Australian public but in the absence of a specific power to do so the ABC's Charter needs re-examination by the Federal Government. This might provide an opening for a thorough review of the ABC's Charter.


The ABC in its present structure is ungovernable, unmanageable and unaccountable.

In preparation for asset sales, the Government might be urged to consider establishing separate corporate structures each with a Board of Commercial Directors from the private sector for say ABC Radio, ABC Television, ABC News and ABC Radio Australia and subjecting these operations to the Corporations Act.

The ABC's internal complaints procedure is laughable. It must uphold very few complaints against itself!

The ABC legislation should be changed to subject the ABC to outside scrutiny by ACMA and the Commonwealth Ombudsman.


For anyone genuinely interested in reform and the idea that taxpayer money should be spent wisely this is a great opportunity!