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I think that the ABC plays a crucial role in Australia's cultural life and that it should be strengthened. Too often the ABC has been a pawn of the government in power. I think that its funding, management and regulatory arrangements should be as independent of the whims of any one government as possible.
One thing I worry about is the idea that the ABC should strive to be as popular as possible, and compete with the commercial channels for ratings. This idea ignores the fact that commercial channels already cater to the populist topics and program types, both on free to air and pay TV. While I don't want the ABC to produce television that nobody wants to watch, I think an important part of its work should be catering to more niche or minority subjects.
Its important that the ABC produces its own material as much as possible, outsourcing production should be minimized. I'd also like to see as much of the material available through the ABC as possible to be released under open licenses, such as creative commons. I remember wanting to download archives of the Radio National Science Show, only to be told that I'd have to negotiate a license with a 3rd party, which of course never happened. That's a shame - I really doubt that preventing free access to those archives made anyone any money.
Lastly, staff conditions at the ABC are important - while it may not be able to compete with commercial channels on pay rates alone, the culture, freedom and personal development possible at the ABC for its staff should be cultivated as much as possible.
Thanks for reading. I love my ABC and I vote :)