|Pacific Media Watch|
ABC cuts threaten 'near north' disaster, political coverage
Title -- 5404 AUSTRALIA: ABC cuts threaten 'near north' disaster, political coverage
Date -- 30 March 2008
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- AAP via email@example.com 28/03/08
Copyright - AAP
Status -- Unabridged
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ABC CUTS COULD THREATEN NATIONAL SECURITY: SAYS NT CHIEF
DARWIN (AAP/Pacific Media Watch): Staff cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation could jeopardise national safety and security, says Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson.
ABC managing director Mark Scott yesterday announced nationwide cuts to production staff as part of a restructure of the national broadcaster's television department.
He would not say how many staff would be axed.
Henderson today warned cuts to Darwin-based ABC TV technical and support staff could have far-reaching consequences.
"Territorians in the Top End are more aware than most Australians of the absolutely vital role played by the ABC in times of natural disaster and political upheaval," Henderson said, highlighting ABC work on Cyclone Monica and in East Timor.
"This is not just a matter of basic news broadcasting. It is a major safety and security issue affecting thousands of Australians across northern Australia and increasingly your neighbours to the near north."
Without the expertise and commitment of local technical and support staff, Henderson said these high standards could be in jeopardy.
Henderson said that he understood that up to 20 local technical and support staff within ABC TV Darwin faced redundancy in the next year or so.
"The displaced workers are unlikely to find alternative employment in the local screen industry," he said.
Henderson said he would be writing to Scott to express his views "as a matter of urgency".
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