Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has said he will ask triple j to “reconsider” its decision to change the date of the Hottest 100 countdown away from Australia Day.
After surveying listeners and consulting with stakeholders and members of the Aboriginal community, Triple j announced yesterday that it will be changing the date of the Hottest 100 so that it no longer takes place on 26th January, and will instead go down on “the fourth weekend of January”.
The move has already angered some in the Liberal Government, and now Senator Fifield has said he’ll be asking triple j to think again.
Speaking on the ABC‘s News Breakfast this morning, Fifield said he will ask the ABC board to reconsider their decision, which he previously called a “really bad” and “dumb” idea.
“There are a relatively small number of people who have an issue with the fact that Australia Day is celebrated on January 26,” Fifield said.
“I already have made my view clear to the ABC. And I’ll be asking the board of the ABC, who have the ultimate programming and editorial responsibility, to reconsider this.”
Triple j has maintained that its decision to change the Hottest 100 date was made after lengthy consultation with listeners, which saw around 60 per cent of survey respondents say they supported a date change.
“You told us how much you love the countdown and most of you are up for a new day,” triple j said during yesterday’s announcement.
“We all agreed that the Hottest 100 shouldn’t be part of a debate about the day it’s on. The only debate should be about the songs.”
Meanwhile, Labor leader Bill Shorten has criticised Senator Fifield’s comments on Twitter, saying, “Today the NBN announced another delay in its disastrous rollout. But the Communications Minister is more worried about what day a radio station chooses to play some songs.”
Today the NBN announced another delay in its disastrous rollout. But the Communications Minister is more worried about what day a radio station chooses to play some songs. Ladies and gentlemen, the Turnbull Government.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 27, 2017
Voting for the 2017 Hottest 100 will open on Tuesday, 12th December, and close on Monday, 22nd January. The countdown will then take place on Saturday, 27th January.