Dempster, who had been a vocal opponent of ABC cuts to 7:30 and Lateline, was told by ABC Director of News Kate Torney his position would go.
Dempster has been with the broadcaster for 30 years, most recently as host of 7:30 NSW -but he has been involved with versions of the show since 1987.
He signed off last night telling viewers, “Thank you for your support, story ideas and constructive criticism over all this time. It has been an honour to work with Australia’s great and unique public broadcaster.”
ABC Director of News Kate Torney said: “This is a huge loss. Quentin is much loved and highly respected by audiences and colleagues alike. He has helped shape the ABC, on and off screen, over more than three decades.
“The public is aware of Quentin’s outstanding track record as an award winning journalist. What they don’t see is his commitment behind the scenes in mentoring, encouraging and guiding colleagues. He is passionate about the craft and role of journalism and is always keen to share his experience with those around him.
“He will be much missed. On behalf of the broader ABC family, I wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Quentin joined the ABC in 1984. His reporting of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the Wood Royal Commission, and their aftermath, are exemplars of the fearless and forensic journalism which has earned Quentin the respect and admiration of his peers and the gratitude of his viewers.
His deep understanding of the mechanics of government and his extensive contacts on all sides of politics have always put 7.30 NSW, in all its incarnations, on top of the issues in NSW and ahead of the pack in reporting on them. In recent years his contributions online have also added further depth to the ABC’s coverage of NSW politics.
Quentin’s tremendous contribution to the ABC, and to journalism generally, is reflected in the many honours he has won, including an Order of Australia for services to the media and a Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.