Labor Senator Helen Polley today called Liberal Bass MP Andrew Nikolic a hypocrite for arguing on ABC 936 Statewide radio yesterday morning that cuts to the ABC and job losses in Tasmania were unnecessary, even though his Government is responsible for the cuts.
“For Mr Nikolic to say on the ABC that the cuts were unnecessary, while knowing full well he is effectively one of the executors of these cuts is hypocrisy of the highest order,” Senator Polley said.
The Abbott Coalition Government has cut $504 million from the ABC and SBS budgets. This has led to the loss of over 400 ABC jobs, including eight jobs in Tasmania and the forced relocation of Your Afternoons with Penny Terry from Launceston, weekly Statelineprograms in every state and territory and Bush Telegraph.
The cuts also mean that women’s sport coverage on the ABC, including soccer and basketball, will no longer be aired.
“Representatives of this Government are compulsive liars. They also lie about lies. Last week members of the Government denied Tony Abbott lied about cuts to the ABC and SBS.
“Now Mr Nikolic is claiming he is sorry for the eight job losses and cessation of TV and regional radio services even though he is effectively responsible for it. It really is a new low in Australian politics,” Senator Polley said.
Mr Nikolic also told interviewer Leon Compton that these cuts represented a modest reduction in the ABC’s budget and therefore the Government could not be responsible for the job losses or cuts to ABC services nationwide.
“Mr Nikolic is deluding himself if he thinks the people of Tasmania are going to accept that the Government is not responsible for these job losses and cuts to services of the ABC. Mr Nikolic needs to start acting like an elected member of this Government and fight for jobs in Bass,” Senator Polley said.
“The Grinch’s of this country Mr Nikolic and Mr Abbott need take a moment and think about the 400 people they have made redundant before Christmas this year. Unfortunately, these people are just the latest Australians who are the victims of Tony Abbott's lies.
“I really hope that Mr Nikolic does not show his face at the ABC again this year because that would just rub salt into the wounds of those who have been made redundant,” Senator Polley said.