Serious questions about the Government’s decision to appoint Liberal donor as SBS Chairman

The Government’s decision to appoint prominent Liberal Party donor Nihal Gupta as SBS Chairman raises serious questions about the Government’s commitment to the SBS and its future.

Labor understands and values the critical role the SBS plays in the promotion of social cohesion and acceptance in our community.

It is too important an organisation to be treated as the political plaything of the Liberal Party.

Mr Gupta’s appointment as Chairman follows the Government’s decision earlier this year to throw out the convention of an independent nominations panel for SBS board appointments and instead appoint former Liberal Party Deputy Leader Neil Brown and conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen to the nominations panel. It is now clear why.

The Government’s appointment of Mr Gupta shows the complete contempt that the Abbott Government has for SBS.

After staring down the barrel of an SBS camera on the night before the election and telling the Australian people that there would be ‘no cuts to the SBS’, Tony Abbott has cut $8 million from the SBS budget with the promise of more cuts to come.

SBS is too important to become a vehicle for Tony Abbott to pay back his political mates in the Liberal Party.