"The decision does not reflect on them or on the wider Tasmanian branch. The fact is that Tasmania does not have the scale and market to justify the high fixed costs involved in maintaining an internal television production unit and associated labour and infrastructure."Some ABC employees in Tasmania had been expecting the axe might fall on TV at some stage. But they're angry and worried about losing their jobs after management arrived "like a military detachment" (as one said) to announce the news in Hobart yesterday. Management is still on site discussing redundancies and entitlements. The ABC is pushing for a co-production funding model in the regions, already in operation in Western Australia and South Australia. The model, under which the ABC joins with state governments or other investors to co-fund TV production, has seen a range of programs made recently, including Race to London, Croc College and Jillaroo (all in South Australia), and Vet School, Boomtown West, Who's Been Sleeping in My House, Will's Big Twitch and Dream House (WA). Scott says the ABC wants to invest $1.5 million over three years for co-production ventures in Tasmania, probably with the assistance of the state government-backed Screen Tasmania. But some local ABC staff are concerned the cash-strapped Tasmanian government may not be able to contribute much. Critics claim the ABC is breaching its charter, which states the national broadcaster's functions include "broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community". Greens leader Christine Milne told Crikey: "Its objective as a national broadcaster is to be a national broadcaster." She says the regions should be able to tell their own stories; planning to fly film crews out to the regions occasionally is not good enough. Milne told Crikey that Gardening Australia (formerly made in Tasmania, now in Melbourne) and The Collectors were well produced and loved by audiences around the country, whereas Auction Room had been set up to fail with a graveyard timeslot as ABC management worked towards centralising production in Sydney. Milne plans to move a motion in the Senate this afternoon, which she expects to be supported by all three parties. Milne criticised Scott for "wittling away" the ABC presence in Tasmania, describing the decision as short-sighted.
‘More badly written drama from Sydney’: critics slam ABC centralisation
The ABC's decision to axe TV production in Tasmania has upset some -- and leaves Aunty's empire increasingly focussed on network hubs in Sydney and Melbourne.