Saffin seeks answer from ABC
FOLLOWING Senator Barnaby Joyce claiming that rural reporter positions in Mackay and Lismore are under threat, Member for Page Janelle Saffin has written a letter to ABC managing director Mark Scott, seeking clarification.
“As one of the Members of Parliament who actively lobbied, and did so without prompting, for ABC funding and did again following ... a meeting with ABC NSW director Mike McCluskey, I am very concerned at the suggestion that there could be cuts to ABC services in my electorate,” she stated.
“Senator Barnaby Joyce claims that the rural reporter positions in Mackay and Lismore are under threat. While I usually take Barnaby’s blurtings with a grain of salt, I note that the ABC has not ruled out these mooted cuts.”
Ms Saffin said she based her concern on the high dependence the residents of Page had on the ABC rural report and other news that the rural reporter produced.
“The Australian Electoral Commission classes Page as a rural seat and our rural reporter is someone farmers and others involved in primary production rely on,” she wrote. “The morning rural report is a great ABC service, and something that has kept so many rural people loyal to their local ABC.
“I would also point out that this region is quite distinct from other parts of the state because of its climate, and diversity of farming practices, from the traditional to the cutting edge of organic farming and many innovative practices. The local rural program also draws on the wealth of environmental and agricultural research from the local Southern Cross University and the Agricultural Research Station.”