Northern-based Government Senator Ian Macdonald has extended an invitation to the ABC Board to consider North Queensland as a location for one of its regional community engagement forums.
Senator Macdonald wrote to ABC Managing Director Michelle Gutherie this week, following new measures announced last week by the Government to encourage the country’s two public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, to engage in more community interaction.
In his letter, Senator Macdonald said as a supporter of regional ABC services and its importance to rural audiences, he welcomed the Government’s proposal that would require at least two open Community Board Forums in regional areas annually.
Small towns such as Ayr, Ingham, Charters Towers, Innisfail, Mareeba and Atherton are typical of the communities that would welcome the ABC Board and be willing to provide meaningful feedback, Senator Macdonald said in his letter.
“In regional and rural areas, the role of the public broadcasters, particularly the ABC, is quite different when compared to metropolitan areas, where audiences are often spoilt for choice when it comes to the provision of news and information services.
“I’ve no doubt these regional audiences would welcome the opportunity to provide feedback first hand, and I will be more than happy to lay out the welcome mat,” Senator Macdonald said.