In what will likely be viewed as a cynical and hollow exercise (much like his recent petition), he wrote to the Prime Minister to reiterate the role of South Australian production, citing the very shows that ABC employees have used in a campaign against management and the government.
He cited shows “including but not limited to The Cook and the Chef, Poh’s Kitchen, Dream Build, and the Karta orang-utan documentary at Adelaide Zoo” and the 1 million audience netted by Countdown: Do Yourself a Favour.
Shows such as The Cook and the Chef and Poh’s Kitchen have not been produced for several years.
“A return to tiered funding for regional production from the Commonwealth will allow the South Australian production unit to continue telling regionally-flavoured stories of national interest,” he wrote.
“I urge you to consider a return to tiered-funding which will allow this to occur and could potentially be found within the ABC’s current budget, to remain cost neutral overall. Time is of the essence in order to protect the jobs which may go before Christmas this year.”
But as Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull -who confirmed the cuts in a speech in Adelaide last month- has previously outlined, it’s not up to the government where ABC management make the cuts -including those in frontbecher electorates.
Last month Christopher Pyne voted against Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s motion to suspend standing and sessional orders so that he could move his motion against the proposed cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.