Apr 1, 2014

Political appointments: Mirabella to chair SBS board, Akerman joins

Tony Abbott has made two political appointments to the SBS, with ex-minister Sophie Mirabella to chair the board that will now include News Corporation columnist Piers Akerman.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Ousted Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella will replace Joseph Skrzynski as chair of multicultural broadcaster SBS, the government announced today. Skrzynski’s term ended last week, following a failed effort by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to renew his term. Turnbull was overruled by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s office. Abbott said in a statement this morning:
"Ms Mirabella will bring excellent management skills as well as a strong multicultural background to the broadcaster. Her career in politics demonstrated an excellent capacity to connect effectively with communities, and this skill will be invaluable in her new role as chair of the SBS board."
Also joining the board will be News Corporation columnist Piers Akerman. Akerman follows in the footsteps of another News Corp writer, the late Christopher Pearson, an Abbott mentor who was appointed to the SBS board by the Howard government in 2003. The PM said:
"Piers brings decades of media experience at the most senior levels to the position and will substantially enhance the SBS board’s media expertise. He has also written extensively on multicultural issues."
In a statement this morning, Mirabella expressed delight at the appointment, saying she was "looking forward to the challenge of leading Australia’s pre-eminent ethnic broadcaster":
"Unlike other public broadcasters, I know SBS always puts Australia first, just as the migrant communities it serves have put Australia first in deciding where to live. At the same time, my experience in the Industry portfolio has given me insights into how to wean companies dependent on government assistance off their reliance on taxpayers.”
Akerman stated that he was looking forward to the "colour and movement" of the role and believed he had appropriate qualifications:
"I think even my critics would accept that I’m a well-known champion of South American products, for instance."
Akerman went on to accuse several senior Labor Party figures of corruption and call for their jailing. The appointments take effect from today, April 1.

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23 thoughts on “Political appointments: Mirabella to chair SBS board, Akerman joins

  1. The_roth

    Lol Piers what Sth Aerican products would that be?

  2. billie

    Ha ha April Fool! [I hope]

  3. David Ritchie

    haha…good one!

  4. philipb20

    Had me for a moment with Sophie but Piers a step too far.

  5. arnold ziffel

    chillingly plausible!

  6. MuslimGal

    hahaha. good joke for the day!

  7. Aka

    South american products? This appointment is going to get up a lot of people’s noses.

  8. Steve777

    An incoming Labor Government should sack both Mirabella and Akerman as one of its first actions. Piers Akerman has been positively hostile to public broadcasting and to multiculturalism over the decades. Why would any government appoint him to the SBS unless it was part of a plan to weaken and destroy it from within.

  9. Dan Gulberry

    [Her career in politics demonstrated an excellent capacity to connect effectively with communities]


  10. mark leo

    honestly that’s cruel…my wife works for SBS and it’s run on the smell of an oily rag as it is…

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