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Managing director Michelle Guthrie grilled over ABC’s rural coverage

More than half of the ABC’s full- time workforce is now employed in Sydney, new figures show, as the Michelle Guthrie of national broadcaster comes under fire for continuing to spend more money there than the rest of the country.

New ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has responded to questions asked in Senate estimates hearings this year about the ABC’s spending in Sydney compared with the rest of Australia. The figures show that in 2011-12, the national broadcaster spent $248 million of its annual budget in Sydney, the equivalent of 27.2 per cent of its total spending, which has since blown out to $296m — more than a third of its annual budget.

Staff numbers in Sydney, concentrated at ABC headquarters in inner-city Ultimo, have jumped in the same period, and account for more than half of its full-time workforce. The figures show that in 2011-12, there were 2107 full-time employees in Sydney, representing 45.78 per cent of its workforce. In 2015-16, there were 2145 Sydney workers, representing 51.3 per cent of all staff.

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, who regularly questions the ABC on its commitment to ­regional Australia, called the ­accelerating trend “disappointing”. “As we suspected, there has been consolidation over time of both financial resources and indeed human resources — people — to Sydney, and that has come at a direct cost to not only local employment and career opportunities across regional Australia, but also to local content as a direct consequence,” Senator McKenzie told The Weekend Australian.

“Despite the rhetoric of their commitment to regional services … the numbers don’t lie; it is very, very clear they are talking the talk but not walking the walk.”

Independent senator Nick Xenophon, who asked Ms ­Guthrie to provide the figures at a Senate estimates hearing in Oct­ober, said the new managing ­director had the opportunity to reverse the trend of increasing centralisation.

“If the ABC is to represent all Australians, it needs to reverse this disturbing trend, otherwise it will end up asphyxiating the ABC as the national broadcasters,” Senator Xenophon said.

NSW Nationals senator John Williams said he was looking forward to asking the ABC for an ­explanation of the trend to ensure the regions were not getting the “rough end of the stick”.

A spokeswoman for the ABC said it had staff in 56 locations across Australia, “more than any other media organisation”.

“The corporation has approximately 400 staff in its regional division,” she said.

castroCastro death reaction shows Left’s hypocrisy, Trump can be right

Gerard Henderson in today’s Australian exposes The Left’s predictable hypocrisy as they fawn over the death of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, ignoring historical facts.

Henderson writes:

It’s a tale of two newspapers that tells a story about the Left. Fidel Castro died on the morning of Saturday, November 26 (Australian time). Consequently, the first opportunity for the former Cuban leader’s death to be covered in print newspapers occurred the following day. [Read more & Comments]

In need of draining

In need of draining

The political year that was—according to Fairfax

Fairfax now suits to use Trumps’s terms.

The Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald on its banner boasts, “Independent.” “Always.” Two separate words. “Independent” of what? Extreme bias? And, “Always” what? Biased? But in its dying days another grammatically ambiguous boast tops the banner—”NEWS SITE OF THE YEAR.” It is a live link to a subscriber hub. One might have thought a Walkley Award, or a French Légion d’honneur. Nope!

Apparently, Malcolm Turnbull can, to use Donald Trump’s term, drain the political swamp in Australia, that would be good. But when? Malcolm is still cemented in waffle mode. The only thing being drained is the conservative patience levy.  [Read more & Comments]

Public health warning

beerPublic health warning by MM’s Dr Sunstroker

Hot weather can take a serious toll on our health.

This is the third day of summer. Weather warnings are being cast like kitchen scraps in the chook pen and gobbled up with equal glee by society’s alarmists. Words of terror fill the early morning report. “Heat wave conditions will prevail for the next four days and could reach temperatures above 40. Keep hydrated. Carry water, designer water it must be, in a fancy bottle dangling between two fingers. Avoid outdoor activities. Use sunscreen if you don’t want cancer, even while indoors. And wear a hat at all times and check on your elderly neighbours—heat kills them!”

Morning Mail’s Doctor Sunstroker remembers more than fifty years ago when every summer, as regular as night becomes day, suffered a “heatwave” that would bake the country, as it has done for millions of years, with at least 14 consecutive days of temperatures of 110℉—43℃ and more. We played outside, tin roofs and no air-conditioning dictated that, mostly without hats and there was no such thing as sunblock and most of us lived. Dr Sunstroker said the kids survived by drinking cool lemon cordial and the men hydrated themselves with chilled beer and thought well enough with that. But, the ABC warns us all. [Read more & Comments]

Photo: Green Left Weekly

Photo: Green Left Weekly

Tasal salmon farms: who is the problem—Tasal, or conservation activists?

This story would make a lot of people wonder why they bother to get out of bed in the morning and go to work with such obstacles thrown in the path of entrepreneurial pursuit. Again, in this matter, the ABC is one-sided. No talk about employment, Australian exports, and benefits to the community. None!

Salmon producer Tassal has recorded a jump in a bacteria responsible for “visual impact” near its salmon pens in the intensively farmed Macquarie Harbour, according to the latest data.

Ever since the ABC Four Corners aired their one-sided look at the Tasmanian salmon farm business, highlighting the added pink colouring for higher prices via appearance, the conservationists have gone into a feeding frenzy as they do—its how they get noticed. In a statement, salmon producer, Tassal said the lease was 87 per cent compliant since it was commissioned in 2013, and its benthic compliance (referring to the bottom of a body of water) was 98 per cent across the company. [Read more & Comments]

workRemote work-for-the-dole scheme ‘devastating Indigenous communities’

The Federal Government’s remote work-for-the-dole scheme is devastating Indigenous communities, with financial penalties causing insurmountable debt and social division, a report has found. The Australian National University researchers described Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion’s Community Development Programme (CDP) as a “policy disaster”. ANU researcher and co-author Dr Kirrily Jordan said financial penalties were being applied unfairly and an example of this could be found in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in Western Australia.

No work, no money, no money, no food. That might be something those damned do-gooders might try. The novel idea of instilling personal pride. Achievement, a concept that leads to personal responsibility—imagine that? Patting their heads and gushing sympathies is a success, as proven herein, for “entitlement dependency”— probably caused by do-gooders—both parties being a burden to those that do work to finance the scheme. [Read more & Comments]

trudeau-and-trumpTrudeau the baby faced commo.

The puzzle Canadians are struggling with is this:- who would make the better Prime Minister? Pretty Boy Trudeau or Pretty Boy Floyd?

Floyd was a bank robber during the depression, Trudeau has the same instincts but a different target.

Woody Guthrie sang of Floyd,

As through this world you travel, you’ll meet some funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.

Banks feared Floyd, Trudeau makes men sick. [Read more & Comments]

ALAALA Kirralee Smith: Government sits on Senate Halal report

It is a year since the senate inquiry about Halal certified foods finalised its report on Halal food certification. Barnaby Joyce ventilated frequently about the matter which is of concern to a vast majority of Australians. Barnaby Joyce being the great hope that something would be done has since become nothing more than “Blarneyby” Joyce, a “tomato head” of political mediocrity who genuflects sickeningly at the feet of the even more useless PM. Kirralee Smith sent this about the matter.

The senate inquiry received almost 1500 submissions, ran for over 6 months at huge tax payer expense, held three days of hearings around the country and came up with 7 recommendations. Not one has been implemented or addressed by the government. [Read more & Comments]

foundationsParty disunity is not in One Nation’s best interests

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is “angry” at her fellow senators, particularly party colleague Rod Culleton, after the senate finally passed the backpacker tax on Thursday.

One Nation is on the cusp of what it tried to achieve two decades ago—a viable alternative to Labor and Liberals. It was virtually killed off then by the dirty tricks of both those parties but perhaps more so by One Nation’s poor selection of creditable candidates. The best One Nation can hope for with the Culleton rogue is that the High Court finds him ineligible to serve. Either way, leader Hanson must act firmly and swiftly to avoid visitation from the past. [Read more & Comments]