ABC would be privatised, Australian embassy moved to Jerusalem under Liberal Party’s peak council
The Liberal Party’s peak council has voted almost 2:1 to privatise the ABC in a call that was swiftly rejected by cabinet ministers amid warnings it would be “total madness” to act on the call.
The overwhelming vote at the party’s annual council in Sydney gained vocal support from conservative think-tank Institute of Public Affairs, which said the company could be sold or given to Australians who already own it.
The vote came in a debate on Saturday where about 110 council delegates, representing Liberal branches from across the country, also voted for an efficiency review into SBS.
The council also voted, by 43 to 31 votes, to relocate the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a highly contentious move opposed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop during the debate.
Council delegate Mitchell Collier, the federal vice president of the Young Liberals, said he had enjoyed ABC programs such as Bananas in Pyjamas during his childhood but said there was no economic case to keep the broadcaster in public hands.
“High sentimentality is no justification for preserving the status quo,” Mr Collier told the meeting, which included cabinet ministers, Liberal state premiers and top party officials.