About 2 hours after I wrote my post yesterday about the ABC the government announced that an efficiency study would be conducted into the ABC. This will not be an independent study, but rather will be run by presumably partisan representatives as appointed directly by the government. It will be a sham ‘study’ that will deliver exactly what the government wants, as predetermined already.
I may sound cynical, but who really doubts this? The government makes a noise, ruffles a few feathers, and prepares us for the worst. They then announce a study. The study will come back with the recommendations the government has already decided upon and which are the point of this whole exercise. The only question remains what those recommendations will be.*
My tip is that the chairman of the ABC, Mark Scott, will be made to step aside. This is a safe bet as The Australian has already – in its unofficial role as government cheerleader, spokesman, and propaganda merchant – sunk the boots into Scott in this morning’s editorial.
I’m tipping their will be cuts to budget and services. The Australia network, broadcast into Asia, is seemingly doomed (not a disaster perhaps, but sad as I always enjoyed catching up with the Australian perspective when I travelled through Asia. The expats will miss it). My boldest prediction is that there will be a further shake-up of the ABC board, and that it will be subject to a government appointed committee in much the same way Abbott has put his education commissioners in place.
You read it here first – when the report is released in 2-3 months the ABC as we know and love today will be no more.
*Classic methodology employed in many industries. Last week Australia Post announced that it might start charging customers for having their mail delivered 5 days a week. Predictable uproar. This week they announce they want to raise the price of stamps from 60c to 70c. Ok then, people think, at least that’s better than paying for mail deliveries. And so Australia Post achieves exactly what it intended. It baited the hook, and we swallowed it. It’s much the same with government shenanigans.