Malcolm Turnbull says that ABC Board members should resign if they do not take their responsibility under section 8 of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 seriously.
Section 8 states (my bolding):
It is the duty of the Board:
(a) to ensure that the functions of the Corporation are performed efficiently and with the maximum benefit to the people of Australia;
(b) to maintain the independence and integrity of the Corporation;
(c) to ensure that the gathering and presentation by the Corporation of news and information is accurate and impartial according to the recognized standards of objective journalism; and
(d) to ensure that the Corporation does not contravene, or fail to comply with:
(i) any of the provisions of this Act or any other Act that are applicable to the Corporation; or
(ii) any directions given to, or requirements made in relation to, the Corporation under any of those provisions; and
(e) to develop codes of practice relating to:
(i) programming matters; and
(ii) if the Corporation has the function of providing a datacasting service under section 6A—that service;
and to notify those codes to the ACMA.
Turnbull is right – Board members are paid to ensure impartiality and if they don’t exercise that responsibility should resign from the Board. According to the news report
The ABC board is reluctant to involve itself in issues around impartiality and news content. Sources say it does not believe it is “obliged” to ensure editorial policies are upheld. It admits it has the power but says it is not obligated.
The board says the obligation to manage affairs is vested in managing director Mark Scott.
But that’s not what section 8 states. It is the Board’s responsibility. If appointed to the ABC Board, I promise to exercise my duties under section 8 fully and diligently.