The ABC will not renew Auction Room hosted by Gordon Brown and is set to close its Tasmanian production facility.
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott has told staff up to 16 jobs will go, saying the broadcaster must constantly assess its production activity.
Mark Scott said, “This has been a very tough decision that has taken several months to work through. Ultimately, despite the commitment of the Tasmanian production team, the ABC must ensure we deliver maximum value to our audiences and the Australian taxpayer.”
But the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, called on the ABC to reconsider its decision.
“I want to send my support to the people who have lost their jobs. It is an anxious and difficult time for them and their families,” Senator Conroy said.
“This is an extremely disappointing decision by the ABC.
“I call on the ABC Board to ensure that the broadcaster upholds its clear obligations in relation to cultural diversity and local programming.
“Cutting its production facilities in Tasmania could result in a dramatic reduction in the telling of Tasmanian stories, something that diminishes the ABC and short-changes the people of Tasmania.
“Tasmania’s Federal Labor MPs and Senators have made significant representations to protect these production services and jobs at the ABC in Tasmania.
“As the national broadcaster, it is concerning that the ABC continues to centralise its production processes in Sydney and Melbourne.
“The ABC should immediately reconsider its decision.”
Auction Room, hosted by William McInnes in its first season, was produced by ABC Tasmania after Collectors was abandoned.