Chris Kenny: Let me bring in now Liberal Senator AndrewBragg, Senator for New South Wales. Andrew, you're looking at the complaintsprocesses at the ABC. There's a review going into this at the moment. Whatneeds to change?
Senator Andrew Bragg: Well, Chris, at the moment, if youlodge a complaint with the ABC, it's not dealt with by an independent person.It's a bit like Dracula and the blood bank. They basically mark their ownhomework. And there are a number of groups that are unhappy with the way thattheir complaints have been treated over the time. So I actually met with thereviewers today. I think they have a very important job ahead of them becausewe want the ABC to get much better at handling complaints.
Chris Kenny: Well, the thing is the ABC has been around theplace for 89 years. Surely they would have had plenty of time to work this out.Isn't the problem that their attitude is that they just want to bat thesethings away? They don't actually want to deal with issues? This is a classiccase, when you talk about Four corners and Trump, this has been so clear for solong that all of that investigation was based on a false premise. But they'vedone nothing to correct it?
Senator Andrew Bragg: Well, there's a line of examples. Imean there's a litany of examples, there are veteran communities, there aremulticultural groups, the Jewish groups in particular, that have been unhappyfor years. And the reality is that the ABC has continued to make the samemistakes again and again. So this is an opportunity now to get some structuralchanges at the ABC. I'm very focused on trying to ensure that we deliversomething permanent, because at the moment, the model where they mark their ownhomework has not worked at all.
Chris Kenny: Now, can anybody approach this review? Send asubmission into this review? Is this something that the public ought to begetting involved in, or is it really for politicians and interest groups?
Senator Andrew Bragg: Look, it's a little bit opaque. Myunderstanding is that they will be taking submissions. I don't think they'll bedoing public hearings, but people should get in touch with me if they have anyparticular concerns about their access to the reviewers, because I think it's avery important opportunity for people to have their voice heard. So I'm keen tomake sure we get some structural changes here because what we've learned is, atleast things are in the public domain. The ABC will not change. They won'trespond to anything else.
Chris Kenny: Yeah, exactly. It's got to be public. And thepoint here, too, is this is bigger than defamation law reform, for instance,sometimes people are not defamed, it's just a matter of things being wrong andneeding to be corrected. And even if people are defamed, taking action throughthe courts for defamation is very, very difficult, risky and expensive. Andpeople should be able to just get facts corrected about any reporting of themvery, very quickly. And as you say openly.
Senator Andrew Bragg: Well, one of the real problems here isthat when the ABC makes a mistake, they don't correct the mistake with the sameloud voice as it was made in the first place. So they'll send you an emailsaying we've upheld parts of your complaint, and then they'll advance thestory. But I actually think they should be tweeting out that they've had acomplaint upheld, and here's the mistake. Because often it's all too late andthe damage has been done.
Chris Kenny: Just briefly, you've also been looking at theseVoices campaigns, these political groups around the country focusing onmarginal seats Voices for Wentworth, Voices for this, that or the other. Andwhat have you found? You've been studying their social media presence andfinding some interesting links?
Senator Andrew Bragg: We found that many of the Voicesgroups are embedded with quite extreme people. So if people are looking closelyat voting for a Voices group, you might end up be voting for an ExtinctionRebellion person. And we found half a dozen or so people who are on themanagement committees of these entities that have been involved with groupslike Extinction Rebellion, which are advocating frankly, crazy economy wreckingpolicies.
Chris Kenny: They are indeed. Thanks for joining us, Andrew.I appreciate it.
Senator Andrew Bragg: Ok. See you, Chris.
Chris Kenny: Senator Andrew Bragg there.