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Senate Estimates - Environment and Communications Legislation Committee 12:40pm AEST

E & OE 

FIFIELD

Under indulgence, I just want to draw attention to a matter for the Committee.

Overnight, the publication Quadrant, in their online edition posted some offensive comments, words to the effect that if there was any justice the horrific terrorist bombing in Manchester would have taken place in the ABC’s Ultimo studio and killed those assembled.

As the Minister responsible for the ABC I just want to make absolutely clear that I think this constitutes a new low in Australian public debate, and that the comments are sick and unhinged.

The managing director of the ABC has written to the editor of Quadrant, John O’Sullivan and the editor of Quadrant online, Roger Franklin, making clear her views on behalf of the organisation.  

And in the letter to Quadrant she says and I quote “I ask that this letter be posted prominently on the Quadrant website, but I also ask that the article, which continues to contain entirely inappropriate comments about possible bombings at the ABC be removed and apologised for.”

I am certain that I speak on behalf of all my colleagues here at the Committee in condemning what Quadrant has posted online.

We can all disagree with what particular media outlets do and say. That is appropriate in a democracy.  

But the comments by Quadrant are sick and unhinged.