Monday, May 1, 2017

Platform Paper 51

Posted by Frank McKone
May 1, 2017

MEDIA RELEASE Monday, 1 May 2017
Missing in action: The ABC and Australia’s screen culture

Kim Dalton, respected leader in Australia’s screen culture, decries the ABC’s lack of transparency, cultural leadership and external creative collaborations in a powerful new Platform Paper from Currency House.

Mr Dalton’s insider account – as former ABC Director of ABC TV (2006-­13) – questions why earlier ABC achievements to significantly increase levels of local drama, comedy, documentary, Indigenous and children’s content, as well as expand vital partnerships with State and Federal funding agencies and independent production houses across Australia, have all been reversed.

The problem, he says, is a lack of governance, an inadequate, outdated Charter and the ABC’s lack of engagement with Australia’s public policy on screen content.

In his essay, Missing in Action: The ABC and Australia’s Screen Culture, Kim Dalton suggests Australia’s foremost cultural institution has used its independence to isolate itself and reallocate its resources according to its own purposes.  The government has no mechanism whereby it monitors or establishes requirements for the ABC’s performance in regard to its Australian content offering or its engagement with the independent production sector.

Using its status as an independent statutory authority, it now disregards transparency, accountability and engagement with public policy objectives and instead pursues an internal agenda and its own priorities.

Kim Dalton has worked in the Australian and international film and TV industry since 1973 in production, distribution, investment, broadcasting and public policy. As CEO of the Australian Film Commission from 1999 he led the policy debate on Australian television content. As Director of ABCTV he increased funding for Australian programs and steered it into the digital era.

Launch of Missing in Action by actor & MEAA Federal VP (Equity) Nadine Garner, followed by an industry debate
When: 6pm – 8pm, Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Where: Upstairs, Tilbury Hotel, 12-­18 Nicholson Street, Woolloomooloo, Sydney
All welcome. Free. Essential to book on

Delivering on the Promise: The ABC and Cultural Leadership, an address by Kim Dalton at the Currency House Creativity and Business Breakfast
When: 7am for 7.30 to 8.45am, Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Where: Quayside Room, Museum of Contemporary Art, George Street, The Rocks, Sydney

Media welcome. Tickets for public $65 available at

Media enquiries to Martin Portus at or 0401 360 806.