Supporters, staff and Friends of ABC held placards at Federation Square declaring “SOS ABC,” “Daddy why can’t the bananas afford pyjamas?” and “Save the ABC from the LNP vandals.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the crowd, “When we hear the ABC signature theme, we know a guarantee of trust, radio and television, on the hour and every evening.
“Over the years, much has changed in Australian life but the work of our ABC continues to be as important as it has ever been.
“We are in a fight to support the ABC in every city and every town, in every street and every house.”
Comedian Corrine Grant said, “The ABC and SBS celebrate our diversity and entertain and educate our children, thrill us and inform us, and most importantly speak to us without fear or favour.
“This government is trying to diminish the ability of its citizens to be truly informed by an independent and free media.
“Hands off our ABC.”
Greens MP Adam Bandt said, “It is in the public interest that we have a public broadcaster that will reflect the true spirit of Australia and will hold politicians true invested interests to account.
“Tony Abbott if you want to relieve the pressure you’re under the answer is as simple as A.B.C. – abide by commitments.”
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance federal secretary Chris Warren and national president of the Community and Public Sector Union Michael Tull also spoke.
Current and former state premiers have also begun pledging support for Stateline editions of 7:30, which are expected to be cut.
The campaign moves to Canberra tomorrow.