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Queensland Senator Calls For “Immediate” Sale of Triple J

Queensland Senator James McGrath has used his maiden speech to Parliament to demand the immediate sale of the ABC’s youth radio station triple j.

In his speech Senator McGrath advocated that the entire ABC should be sold off if it fails to adjust its “inner-city leftist views” and said “triple j, because of its demographic dominance and clear ability to stand on its own, should be immediately sold.”

“As someone who grew up in regional Queensland, I grew up with the ABC but the ABC has left people like me and my constituents behind,” Senator McGrath told Parliament. “I want to support the ABC. I like the ABC.

“Yet while it continues to represent only inner-city leftist views, and funded by our taxes, it is in danger of losing its social licence to operate.” His comments follow the recent axing of the Australia Network which resulted in dozens of job losses for ABC staff and recent funding cuts to the national broadcaster laid out in the Federal Budget which will see the loss of $35.5 million over four years.

According to the ABC, Senator McGrath is seen as an influential figure in the Liberal National Party and was formerly its deputy federal director. He said if the ABC fails to make “inroads to restore balance” then it should be sold and replaced by a “regional and rural broadcasting service”.

In his speech the Senator also called for the GST rate to rise to 15 per cent, and for federal health and education departments to be abolished.

UPDATE 17/07/14 1:30pm AEST: McGrath’s suggestions have been greeted with a lukewarm reception from his peers, but Family First senator says there may be some merit to the idea. Details here.

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