Late last year the ABC and SBS announced they would hold public board meetings as part of a government deal with Senator David Leyonhjelm to get his vote on the Australian Building and Construction Commission, with the ABC committing to three public meetings in 2017. Leyonhjelm said at the time it would help the national broadcaster to become “more representative”. The ABC holds six board meetings a year and said that three of those would have community forums attached to them, two of which would be held in regional areas. Ms Tips understands that the ABC board is due to meet soon, so we got in touch to ask if the first community forum was also scheduled to be soon. We don’t have a date to report but were told by an ABC spokesman:
“The ABC interacts with and consults with the wider community regularly in a number of different forums. The ABC Board welcomes the opportunity to expand the Corporation’s engagement and we’re in the process of putting a schedule of at least three community forums, two of which will be held in regional areas.”
The ABC board is looking a bit thin at the moment, with two positions sitting vacant since June last year. The government is also in the middle of recruiting a new chair of the board, with James Spigelman’s term to end in March. Names like David Gonski and David Thodey have been thrown around, as has Danny Gilbert managing partner of law firm Gilbert + Tobin.