Melbourne Town Hall was packed for the #SaveOurABC protest

Written by Patrick Campbell on 15th July, 2018
Melbourne Town Hall was packed for the #SaveOurABC protest

After events in Sydney and Brisbane this week, Melbourne finished a week of protests off by reaching capacity at Melbourne Town Hall this afternoon to protest the privatisation of the ABC. The protests come after it was announced the Liberal party council voted to privatise the independent public broadcaster.

The vote was rebuked by sitting Liberal politicians, but support to keep the ABC independent has been huge. People were lined up for three blocks outside the venue even after it was packed, hoping to get in and show their support.

Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt tweeted a photo of the crowd in the hall. He also spoke at the event alongside Magda Szubanski and other politicians in support of the public broadcaster.

The event was organised by ABC Friends a lobbying group that supports the funding and independence of the public broadcaster. Junkee reports that the Sydney event had over 1000 supporters show up in support.

At the Sydney protest, Szubanski received a standing ovation after a moving speech. “The ABC is our Library of Alexandria and I will not stand by and let them burn it.” the activist concluded for the crowd.

Cuts to the funding of music programs over the past few years have seen massive protests outside ABC offices and production spaces. They also prompted a bunch of Aussie musicians to get together and sign an open letter against the choices.

These latest protests show the incredible amount of support from the public, as well as media professionals in Australia for a well funded, independent public broadcaster.  The government launched a national enquiry into the efficiency of the ABC and SBS earlier this year with the results expected in September.

This is the second enquiry in four years as journalist for the public broadcaster, Kerry O’Brien pointed out. “What was wrong with the first one?” she asked.

There are no more protests planned for the near future, but you can keep up to date with ABC Friends to find out when they next have one near you.

Watch: Sydney ABC rally highlights

The article was originally published on Brag Magazine