Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (13:51): One of the true privileges of our role as members of parliament is getting to meet and speak with our local residents and our local communities. We get to meet
the most incredible people, wonderful Australians and hardworking individuals who are often incredible local volunteers as well.
I had the privilege of speaking to one such Australian today. His name is Richard and he is passionate about his job and his workplace and, in his spare time, his role as a coast rescue volunteer. Richard is not from my electorate, but he got in touch with me because he was concerned about something that happened last night which I have, unfortunately, been able to confirm personally did occur. Last night, during my adjournment debate speech, where I outlined a range of concerns about the ABCs reporting about me, ABC Radio shut me down. They literally took me off the air—they censored me.
I am deeply concerned that the ABC are now shutting down criticisms of their activities and their views. They are our public broadcaster and they are funded by each and every taxpayer around the nation. But I'm not most horrified about the fact that they silenced me, a member of parliament, but that they also silenced the voice of Cheron Long, a brave, strong Aboriginal woman, whose words I was reading into Hansard when they dumped me from the air. Cheron, I just want to say that I'll do everything I can to make sure your voice continues to be heard. I say to the ABC: are you listening now?