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Australian PM calls for greater ABC voice in the Pacific

(Photo: James Alcock – ABC)

The Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has said it is a matter of national security that the ABC projects the country’s identity and values to the Pacific region.

Mr Albanese delivered an address at the ABC in Sydney on 5 August to celebrate the broadcaster’s 90th anniversary.

He stressed the importance of a strong Australian voice in the Pacific in order to keep other influences out. He said Australia’s “identity, values and interests” must be projected to the Pacific.

“On top of every other consideration, it is a prudent investment in our national security as well as our national interest.”

Mr Albanese described the national broadcaster as a “beacon of trust” and an “insurance policy” against misinformation and disinformation.

He also commended the ABC for its important work during disasters, saying: “You were absolutely crucial during the bushfires and the floods.

“Commercial broadcasters and community radio have played an important role, but times of disaster have seen our treasured national institution really shine.

“When mobile phone towers have been knocked out, or Telstra exchanges submerged, when the power’s gone and people are down to a handful of batteries in a radio…you’ve been there, ready with critical information in some very fast-moving, often desperate situations.”