You are here

Complaint to ABC Chairman re airtime for state election candidates and population matters

When I lodged my nomination as a candidate for the SA House of Assembly seat of Fisher 2 years ago, the very first communication I received was a letter from the ABC telling me I would not get any coverage for my campaign. This was despite the fact that I was the nominated candidate for a registered political party with over 300 members, and I was spending about $6000 of my savings on campaign expenses and nomination fees." [...] "the Earth adds approx. 225,000 mouths to feed EVERY DAY. Australia adds approx. 1000 to its population each day. The implications of this are enormous, and yet it is very clear to me that the ABC soft pedals the matter. To be more specific, it is very common that, when an issue of national importance such as housing affordability comes up, there is very little mention of the influence population growth is having on the matter. The interviewers commonly host guests from the property industry to put their views, but people from such bodies as Sustainable Population Australia never seem to be asked to comment."

Mr Justin Milne
ABC Chairman
Box 9994
Sydney NSW 2001

Dear Chairman

I am writing to you instead of ABC Management because I lack confidence that the content of this letter will be taken seriously by that management. This lack of confidence is based on the fact that a complaint I lodged with the ABC in September 2015 was not answered until April of the following year, and then only after I wrote a personal letter to every member of the ABC Board.

There are 2 matters I wish to raise - firstly, ABC policy regarding airtime given to state election candidates. And secondly, ABC bias in relation to covering the issue of population growth in Australia.

Airtime given to election candidates

When I lodged my nomination as a candidate for the SA House of Assembly seat of Fisher 2 years ago, the very first communication I received was a letter from the ABC telling me I would not get any coverage for my campaign. This was despite the fact that I was the nominated candidate for a registered political party with over 300 members, and I was spending about $6000 of my savings on campaign expenses and nomination fees.

However, in the lead up to that campaign, Matt and Dave on 891 Adelaide chose to interview a selection of candidates for Fisher on their morning program. They comprised Liberal, Labour, Greens and an Independent (Woolyat), whose particular talent was sidestepping every question put to him about controversial issues. And, when I attempted to access ABC talk back, I was afforded little respect or opportunity to put my case before being cut off.

Around this time, the Adelaide Advertiser was kind enough to publish a letter from me that pointed out the ABC was not willing to give me any airtime, and yet Zakky Mullah, a convicted criminal, was given a platform on Q and A to push his twisted agenda.

Chairman, myself and members of our party (Stop Population Growth Now) intend to run in the SA elections in March next year. I request that you direct ABC management to give our party (and other registered parties) sufficient air time to promote our policies, which, by the way, are not racist - they are based on the absolute necessity to create a society that is sustainable and where preservation of our environment is regarded as critical.

ABC bias in relation to population issues

ABC records will indicate I have complained to your organization about this subject before.

Chairman, the Earth adds approx. 225,000 mouths to feed EVERY DAY. Australia adds approx. 1000 to its population each day. The implications of this are enormous, and yet it is very clear to me that the ABC soft pedals the matter. To be more specific, it is very common that, when an issue of national importance such as housing affordability comes up, there is very little mention of the influence population growth is having on the matter. The interviewers commonly host guests from the property industry to put their views, but people from such bodies as Sustainable Population Australia never seem to be asked to comment. It is completely unreasonable to believe that adding 1000 persons per day to Australia’s population is not going to have a very significant effect on housing prices. And there are many other areas where population growth has a major impact. The Adelaide Advertiser was kind enough to publish a letter from me a few weeks ago in which I pointed out that, on current growth rates, the population of Australia will grow from approx 24.5 million today to approx 32.5 million by 2040, an increase of 33%, and that all these extra people would need power, when it is clear we are having problems catering for our existing population, let alone provide for such a huge increase. The commercial media is willing to give publicity to this fact, but where is the ABC on that hugely significant matter.

Recently the DRUM and Media Watch have been borderline contemptuous of the efforts of Dick Smith, who, with his own money, is trying to bring about a proper debate on population growth. Well, Mr Chairman, the ABC is not helping such a debate. Yet when a detainee on Manus so much as stubs a toe, the ABC is all over it, with, I might add, a very clear pro refugee bias.

Please do not assume I am against everything the ABC does. The ABC has some wonderful talent (Anthony Green, Dr Norman Swan to name 2), and I cannot wait for each new episode of UTOPIA. But there is definitely bias in some areas, and it needs to be rooted out.

Chairman, I am a 74 years old senior citizen, with no criminal record (unlike Mullah). I believe I am a respected member of my local community. I have worked (and am still working) paying taxes for 57 years. My taxes have supported “my ABC” for all that time. Why do I feel that my views supporting zero population growth are ignored by your organization. I am not being given a voice by the ABC, yet the commercial media is often willing to publish my letters and take my calls (Jeremy Cordeux gave me 20 minutes on Radio 5AA some time ago), and Leon Byner of the same station is always willing to talk to me. This is so even though it can be argued the interests of commercial media are not served by stopping population growth.

I respectfully request you and your Board to consider this letter, and act accordingly.

Bob Couch

AttachmentSize
Image icon ABC-political-complacency.jpg11.58 KB

Comments

"...and yet Zakky Mullah, a convicted criminal, was given a platform on Q and A to push his twisted agenda."

I'm totally supportive of the broad thrust of this letter but why does the author commit the same prejudicial and essentially incorrect dismissal of another that he deplores having perpetrated upon himself? It needlessly demonstrates that the author is willing to make bold assertions about things that he clearly has no cogent grasp of. I'm sold on the principles of being posited in the letter, but would baulk at having this person represent them for me.

We Australians are all so successfully divided by the propaganda. More people should read your excellent article on Zaky Mallah (however spelled) here: "Zaky Mallah and the Zombification of ABC Australia". We also have another article about Mr Mullah and his treatment on Q&A here: "Another analysis of the drama with Zaky Mallah as guest on Q and A"

Things are becoming worse, all the talk about energy shortage but nothing said about the huge increase in consumers which will continue.
Here in the outer Melbourne growth corridor everything is expanding. getting larger, paddocks being scraped for more building, a push for a huge quarry three time the size of a previous quarry, residents protesting but the applicant says it is necessary to provide more resources for housing construction.

Truckloads of sand racing down the freeway for more concrete and cement, huge concrete supports all along the rail system for constructing the overhead track to speed up the train and transport for more and more travellers as the infinite supply of population continues.

Hundreds of hectares of productive market garden being ploughed in and bulldozed for residential construction, and ambitious developers buying up farmland and green wedge out beyond the UGB confident that eventually the state government will relent under population pressure and allow rezoning for metropolitan expansion and sad disappearance of the environmental landscape with its trees, birds, endangered species etc. Not to mention clogged roads and freeways, hospital queues, medical waiting lists and whatever else. The government plan to develop regional cities is scary.