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Coalition refuses to drop plan to privatise ABC

The Coalition today refused to rule out selling the ABC, voting against a Greens motion reaffirming the Parliament's commitment to keeping the broadcaster in public hands.

"Today the Greens tested the Coalition's real intentions, and it turned out Malcolm Turnbull's fine words are as useful as a non-core promise," said Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

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Greens disappointment at Fried Bananas

Today the Australian Greens expressed shock and dismay at the ABC's axing of Bananas in Pyjamas - an iconic program with 380,000 viewers nationally.

"While the ABC is expected to do more with less, management have made a series of very unfortunate decisions of late," said Greens communications spokesperson, WA Senator Scott Ludlam.

"Frying B1 and B2 lets down young viewers and slashing the Hobart television production unit in November last year with one hour's notice to staff did not help the ABC fulfil its Charter obligations.

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Extreme agenda exposed: Liberals push plan to sell ABC and SBS

The Coalition has let the extremist cat out of the bag, with Tony Abbott's Liberals pushing plans to privatise the ABC and SBS, the Greens warned today.

"When Parliament resumes the Greens will introduce a motion to test the Coalition's real intentions," Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

Senator Ludlam said the Coalition had dropped its guard and revealed its extremism.

"The Coalition arrogantly assumes it will sail into office regardless of how extreme its policies are. The mask is slipping.

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Greens celebrate budget win for SBS

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam has thanked the many people who campaigned strongly for improved resourcing for SBS.

"In a tight budget in which many portfolios faced serious cuts, the fortunes of SBS have swum against the tide. No doubt, we could always have hoped for more, and indeed the finances of the station will remain tight for years to come. But the additional commitment of $158 million is the most significant funding boost the SBS has ever had.

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SBS - Special Broadcasting Service

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (16:58): I seek leave to take note on the answer from Senator Conroy concerning the Special Broadcasting Service.

Leave granted.

Senator LUDLAM: I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

I will be very brief. This is a response to a motion that I put up [on 23 November], which I am pleased to say was passed unanimously by all in the Senate last November, relating to SBS.

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Fifteen languages on ice at SBS prove the need for new funding

The Australian Greens renewed their call for greater funding of SBS after it was revealed services in fifteen languages had been temporarily suspended by the broadcaster during the summer break.

The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the Government needs to substantially increase funding in the 2012-13 budget, and decrease the broadcaster's dependence on declining advertising revenues.

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Quality Control on Ads on SBS

Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications
Answers to Senate Estimates Questions on Notice
Supplementary Budget Estimates Hearings October 2011
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

Senator Ludlam asked:
Senator LUDLAM: There used to be some quality control and now we have anything-Harvey Norman screaming at us at random intervals. The station used to exercise quality control. When did that drop?

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Convergence Report a welcome start

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam welcomed today's release of the recommendations of the Convergence Review Committee.

Senator Ludlam said the report "seems to have adapted some of the major ideas put to it in the submissions process".

"The Committee appears to have demonstrated an open mind and has assembled what could be a workable model for regulating the converged media environment.

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