Centre Alliance Candidate for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has become the first politician in Australia to be given a ‘Friends of the ABC Defenders Badge’.
Ms Sharkie was handed the honour by Sue Pinnock the local ABC Friends representative, saying it’s vital the public broadcaster is defended.
“Rebekha has been a long-time advocate for the ABC and the Friends wanted to acknowledge that support and Rebekha’s commitment to working towards restoring the $338 million in funding slashed from the ABC budget since 2014,” Sue said
Ms Sharkie says if she’s re-elected at the July 28 by-election she will put a motion before parliament calling for funding to be reinstated, for members speak for the ABC and calling on everyone to sign a petition to take to Canberra to show the community’s support.
“The petition accompanying this motion will show the Government just how much Mayo loves our ABC and that our community will not tolerate Australia's national treasure being privatised by stealth,” Rebekha said.
“This $338 million in funding cuts includes $84 million of additional ‘savings’ announced in the 2018 Federal Budget and follows the loss of hundreds of jobs across the country.
“The savage cuts, when combined with recent calls for the full privatisation of the ABC from the Institute of Public Affairs and the Liberal Party Federal Council, are clear warning signs that the Government is paving the way for a sell-off despite the Communication Minister’s statement to the contrary."
“Australians who value the ABC are on notice that we must act and I know that I and my Centre Alliance colleagues will do all in our power to restore the ABC's funding to pre-2014 levels.”