New ABC acting chairman defends integrity of board

New ABC acting chairman defends integrity of board
Photo by Blueturtle01 via Wikimedia Commons

New ABC acting chairman Kirstin Ferguson has defended the ABC board, denying that there was ever any political interference.

Dr Ferguson was recommended for the role by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

In her first TV interview as acting chairman, Dr Ferguson insisted that she had not seen any signs of political interference during her 3 years serving on the ABC board.

She said that the board always “put the ABC’s best interests at the forefront” and that she has no relationship with the Government, being “focused only on the ABC and independence”.

She added that she wouldn’t “have the same problem” as former chairman Justin Milne, who was known for being personal friends with former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Questions have been raised about the integrity of the ABC’s managing board ever since the recent sacking of Michelle Guthrie and subsequent resignation of former chairman Justin Milne. Mr Milne resigned amid massive internal pressure from ABC staff after a Fairfax report leaked an email in which he spoke of sacking a reporter who had upset the then Turnbull Government.

Dr Ferguson also responded to calls for the entire ABC board to be stood down, saying that it was not what the public broadcaster needed.

When asked if Australians has a right to know why Michelle Guthrie was sacked, Dr Ferguson said it was “an unreasonable expectation” and that she “just won’t go there”.