JAMIE HOTTAKE | Youth Feature Writer | Contact
The toxic notion that the ABC offices in our nation’s capital cities should be moved to a cheaper, less desirable suburb isn’t an old one.
Could you imagine Sydney’s Ultimo Kremlin be packed up and moved to Doonside or Parramatta like some sparsely-visited technology museum? It’s true our government could flip that building into student housing within 18 months and make more money than 1000 Brendan Nelsons.
Or perhaps Brisbane’s iconic ABC South Bank Commune be shipped out to Inala or Ipswich? Where the ‘squinters’ actually live?
Could you imagine that, though?
No, you couldn’t – and here’s why.
Employees of ‘Aunty’ will tell you that it’s critical for them to be a small cog in the inner-workings of every Swiss watch-like city around the country.
That prominent people from around the world, worth far more than you and I, often grace their hallowed grounds to be interviewed and fluffed.
An ABC out in Blacktown or Strathpine or Dandenong North would be far less attractive – simply because it’s ‘so far away’ from everything else.
And guess what. All of that is correct.
You see, the ABC attracts the best and brightest in the country – and the best and the brightest don’t drink 7/11 coffee.
To work at that high temple of journalistic and thought-provoking thought, you can’t be some middle-of-the-road colostomy bag of a graduate, you need to be the best. Which means you need to have been educated in one of four selective high schools in the country, and a sandstone university that is located roughly halfway between that school and the ABC head office. Walking distance between each.
If the ABC is out on the city fringe, in the political battlegrounds our politicians seem to perennially over-promise and under-deliver in, then the best will find somewhere else.
Somewhere else like a commercial network or worse – advertising and public relations.
Therefore it is imperative to keep our ABC far, far away from Middle Australia.
It’s problematic to have the ABC where poor people live because poor people don’t watch the ABC, they watch more aspirational television like The Block or Survivor. Sometimes the Melbourne Comedy Gala.
Shows that showcase a life slightly better than their own.
People who work at the ABC don’t want for anything, they’re the human embodiment of absolute contentment. Next to Brendan Nelson.
But they will want for something if you make them commute more than an hour to work.