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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 497..


MS PORTER (continuing):

Are Mr Mulcahy and those opposite happy for it to experience any kind of risk by way of a threat to its funding? That would throw into question its ability to respond to emerging technologies and also it would threaten its independence. Surely we should recognise that Canberrans, of all people, would want us to support their ABC for all the reasons that we have been speaking about in this place this afternoon.

When I was reflecting on this motion, I realised how important the ABC was to me and to my family. I realised that, just as the BBC had been part of my family life as a child, the ABC has always been an important part of my life since I arrived here at the age of 12. There is not a day goes by that my radio, in whatever room I am in at home or in my car, is not turned on to the ABC. I tune in to Ross Solly of a morning to hear his take on the local goings-on, and early morning programs and later AM are essential listening. When I am able to tune in to Classic FM it can soothe the troubled soul. Margaret Throsby's interviews, Drive Time, and Tony Delroy have been amongst my favourites over the years.

As CEO of Volunteering ACT, the community notices on Friday and Saturday were, of course, essential listening. The ABC's 7 o'clock television news, followed by the 7.30 Report and, of course, Lateline and Four Corners, as Dr Foskey mentioned, are all essential viewing, if I am lucky enough to be home at those times of the day. I am sure all in this place have noticed how much their regular listening and viewing habits are changed by being a member of the Assembly, as other pressures intervene. That is why the new technologies I mentioned before are so important to all of us. That is why, if the ABC is going to deliver the quality we should expect of our ABC, our national broadcaster, it must receive adequate funding that recognises an ABC that we need to rely on.

We do not want an ABC that relies on the last century's technologies. It cannot stand still. It must move forward. We have already heard that there are a number of ways that improvement is needed, particularly, and I would agree with the Chief Minister on this, in the content of the television news in the evening. The local content is usually a few seconds of something towards the end, as the Chief Minister said, and we do rely greatly on WIN Television. I certainly was very appreciative of WIN Television when I was the CEO of Volunteering ACT, I can tell you.

However, we do look forward to the funding submission being successful, we do look forward to increased coverage of our region by ABC TV, and we do look forward to the numerous technologies that are available to us being taken up by our ABC and taking us into the 21st century.

Motion agreed to.

Criminal behaviour in Campbell and Erindale, and at the Canberra show

Paper

MR PRATT (Brindabella): Pursuant to Mr Stanhope's motion of today, I table the following paper:


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