SBS Chairmanship should not be a reward for Liberal Party fundraising

Reports that the Abbott Government is set to appoint prominent Liberal Party donor Nihal Gupta to the vacant SBS Chairman’s position over candidates eminently more qualified and preferred by the independent nominations panel are shocking.

In an outrageous demonstration of ‘jobs for the boys’, it has been reported that Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his office have personally intervened to overturn the preference of the nominations committee and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to appoint either former NSW Premier Nick Greiner or former NSW Community Relations Commission Chairman Stepan Kerkyasharian.

If this is true and Mr Gupta is appointed it will show 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.

The position of SBS Chair has been vacant for six months after Tony Abbott rolled Malcolm Turnbull and refused to re-appoint well-respected businessman Joseph Skrzynksi.

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