The ABC is in crisis, with the Chairman of the Board now resigning. Justin Milne was accused of demanding the sacking of journalists to appease the government.

Missy Drage reports.


The ABC board directors had already requested Mr Milne stand down over claims of political interference.

Then he announced he’s quitting anyway, saying “the best interests of the ABC will be served by my resignation.”

Justin Milne, former ABC Chairmain: “Well I think I should because clearly there is a lot of pressure on the organisation.”

He added that he had not directed management to sack a staff member and agreed he’d not been asked by former prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to do so.

Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister: “I gave no instructions to the ABC Chairman on any matter.”

Mitch Fifield, Communications Minister: “I have never heard the former Prime Minister seek to have any member of the ABC removed.”

The government did not deny however, that it was unhappy with some political and economic reporting.

Malcolm Turnbull, Former Prime Minister: “We did complain about the very poor standards of journalism.”

The opposition sees that in itself as undue pressure.

Jim Chalmers, Shadow Finance Minister: “This is first and foremost an issue of political interference.”

Mr Milne’s downfall follows the bitter sacking of Managing Director Michelle Guthrie by the board.

Now the government is to hold an investigation into her dismissal halfway through a contract, but Labor and the Greens say that’s not enough.

They want the full board to explain its actions to the senate.

Missy Drage, QUT News.