The ABC is facing a challenge from the Government to stop it from airing a new Australian Story episode of ABC television in the wake of the Government’s decision to cancel its ABC licence.
The ABC is currently facing an unprecedented threat to its future as it faces a threat from the Coalition to close down the corporation.
This is the first time in more than 20 years that the ABC has faced such a threat to the future of its programming.ABC chief Andrew Alcock told a Senate Estimates hearing that the Government was seeking to kill off the ABC as a viable news and entertainment company, arguing that the corporation was “not fit for purpose”.
Mr Alcock said the Government had proposed to repeal the ABC Act of 2014, which provides for a licence renewal every four years.
This would mean that the organisation could not produce a new series of ABC stories, which it does on a voluntary basis.
“This is a fundamental threat to ABC independence,” Mr Alcock alleged.
“I can’t even imagine the Government trying to make the ABC less than a viable business and yet trying to do it with the most severe possible consequences.”ABC television shows will be removed from the ABC websiteThe ABC has also announced that it will be removing the ABC’s website from the public domain, leaving it open to public domain takedowns, a decision that will be subject to a court challenge.ABC CEO Mark Scott has also told Parliament that the network will not be able to continue to air new ABC series in its entirety.
“We will no longer be able, in our view, to produce ABC programs on our own, we will not produce ABC television, we cannot produce new ABC television,” Mr Scott said.
“Our focus will be on our existing ABC and we are prepared to engage in negotiations to secure that future.”ABC News understands that the government is also seeking to prevent the ABC from operating in the ABC News channel.
ABC News was not consulted in the Government proposal.