LNP’s push for ‘cheaper’ ABC

QUEENSLAND'S LNP has called on the Morrison Government to oversee a nationwide move of all ABC studios and offices as it sells off or rents out the broadcaster's inner-city properties to raise funds.

A motion was passed at the party's state council on the Gold Coast today calling on the Coalition Government to "provide generous funding to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, by selling or subleasing current expensive properties within inner-city locations and moving all studios and offices to cheaper and more efficient facilities".

The motion attracted spirited debate but was ultimately overwhelmingly carried as members complained of left-leaning bias and claimed ABC staff were out of touch with the average Australian worker.

The Ultimo, Sydney, headquarters of the ABC. Picture: Danny Casey/AAP
The Ultimo, Sydney, headquarters of the ABC. Picture: Danny Casey/AAP

However, some spoke in support of the ABC for its regional programming, such as Landline, and its vital work as Australia's emergency broadcaster in informing communities during natural disasters.

The motion follows calls from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack that the public broadcaster move its headquarters in inner-city Sydney to regional Australia.

"I'm sure there are plenty of empty shopfronts in Sale and Traralgon or elsewhere where the ABC could quite easily relocate to a regional centre and save themselves a lot of money and then invest that money that they've saved by not being in the middle of Sydney where they don't need to be, and be out at a regional centre," he said earlier this year.

Queensland Senator James McGrath followed those remarks by calling on the ABC to sell its multimillion-dollar Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne properties to help pay down national debt and move out to regional areas like Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Caboolture or Beenleigh, leaving a "small news studio close to the CBD".