Senate probe into ABC complaints-handling processes put on hold


A parliamentary inquiry into how the public broadcasters handle complaints has been suspended until an independent review into the ABC’s procedures is completed.

Liberal senator Andrew Bragg spearheaded the establishment of an inquiry into the ABC’s complaint processes, saying the broadcaster isn’t taking complaints seriously, having raised extensive grievances himself.

The Senate voted for suspension on Tuesday with the support of Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers, more than a week after the request was made by ABC chair Ita Buttrose.

Coalition senator Andrew Bragg. Photo: AAP

Senator Bragg said he was disappointed with the result and cast doubt on the current review.

“The ABC’s inquiry is not independent as the ABC’s investigators will report to the ABC,” he said in a statement following the vote.

Senator Bragg said he reserves his right to continue to push for the inquiry and that it be heard in a timely manner.

“The inquiry has already received several sensitive but critical submissions. We must not close the door on these Australians,” he said.

More than a dozen submissions have already been received, the senator said.

Ms Buttrose says the relationship between the ABC and the government is strained and described Senator Bragg’s push as “an act of political interference designed to intimidate”.



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