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Liberal Senator’s Call To Sell Triple J Gets Lukewarm Reception

Senator James McGrath‘s maiden speech to Parliament has resulted in a myriad of reactions from fellow politicians. In the speech, the Queensland senator called for the privatisation of youth radio station Triple J, and of the ABC if it fails to balance what he called its “inner-city leftist views.”

According to the Associated Press, the motion has generally failed to gain traction among Senator McGrath’s Liberal National Party colleagues. “I live in Toowoomba and there are two things you wake up to in regional Australia – your wife and the ABC,” LNP senator Matthew Canavan said.

“I want to stay close to both of them,” he added. Meanwhile, Greens leader Christine Milne said Australians loved the ABC and were appalled by Senator McGrath’s suggestions to sell it off. “This government is getting more and more to the right everyday,” she told reporters in Canberra.

However, Family First senator Bob Day said there was some “merit” in Senator McGrath’s suggestions, saying the ABC squeezes out private sector media. “It’s impossible for private media companies… to get established because of the virtually unlimited budget of the ABC,” he said.

Senator Day suggested there could be merit in selling Australia’s most popular youth broadcast service but did not want the entirety of the ABC sold off. When asked if he thought the broadcaster was biased, he told the Associated Press, “Everyone sees the world through their own prism.”

Writing for The Telegraph, conservative columnist Andrew Bolt praised Senator McGrath’s speech, hailing the senator as “another friend [to liberty] in parliament.” At the other end of the spectrum, Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie said she doesn’t support privatising the ABC.

In his speech, Senator McGrath insisted that due to Triple J‘s “demographic dominance and clear ability to stand on its own, [it] should be immediately sold.” He also claimed that though he likes and wants to support the ABC, its leftist views have “left people like me and my constituents behind.”

Watch: Senator James McGrath’s Maiden Speech

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