ARMED with a homemade Banana in Pyjamas, placards and singing “Save our ABC”, a group of public broadcasting supporters arrived at the doorstep of member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, yesterday.
About 40 people were at Ms Ley’s Albury office to register their concern at potential funding cuts to the ABC in next week’s federal budget.
Ms Ley emerged from her Swift Street office to hear their concerns and responded by suggesting the ABC may have to find savings.
“I have not heard anything about particular cuts to the ABC,” she said.
“There may well be ways the ABC can save money because every organisation can save money.
“I think that if it comes up, they could and should do their share.”
Albury’s Paula Sheehan, who organised the Farrer petition delivery, was happy with the turnout.
“It’s great considering it is 9am on a Wednesday when most people are at work,” she said.
Ms Sheehan said more than 896 Farrer residents had so far signed the online petition.
“I got involved because I want to make sure my federal representative understands how important the ABC is to our community and why we won’t stand to see it defunded,” she said.
“We are trying to get Sussan to remember that people love the ABC and they love it as an independent public broadcaster.
“We don’t want it to have to go cap in hand to advertisers for funding their quality journalism and quality Australian programming.
“We want to maintain Radio National, maintain iView and all the podcasts available through the ABC.”
Albury residents were joined by members of advocacy group GetUp, who delivered more than 246,000 electronic signatures to federal MP offices across Australia yesterday.
Albury’s Jenny Cartledge, the granddaughter of a past ABC chairman, William Cleary, was there.
“My grandfather would turn in his grave if there was interference now,” she said.
In Indi, 1161 signatures were collected and presented to the office of member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
Ms McGowan’s policy adviser accepted the signatures on her behalf.