The Liberal Government has refused to rule out further cuts to the ABC and does not know the name of the Indigenous nation it is planning to place yet another memorial to Captain James Cook on, it was revealed in senate estimates today.
Australian Greens communications and arts spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young asked Minister Mitch Fifield and his department what Indigenous nation the monument would be erected upon during Senate estimates this morning.
“Despite an important national debate about changing the date of Australia Day away from the First Fleet’s landing, the Government has decided to strip funding from the ABC to spend it on yet another monument to colonialism, on the land of the Dharawal people," Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The Liberal Government is waging a culture war against not only the ABC, but both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in our community who speak out against the divisive commemoration of the colonialism that caused the 200 years of displacement and pain to our First Peoples.
“The Minister and his department staff were also unsure of how many memorials, statues or plaques there are to Captain Cook already stand, calling into question the value of another such statue.
“It is deeply concerning that the Liberals cannot guarantee there will be no further cuts to the ABC, despite the broadcaster taking a $337 million hit in recent years. It is clear the Liberal Government cannot be trusted to protect our public broadcaster.
“This Government is out of touch with the Australian people – taking money from our most trusted news service which will no doubt lead to further job cuts, and ignoring why our First Australians find the celebration of the arrival of Captain Cook so painful in one fell swoop.”