Stop Gap Extension for Two ABC Board Members

With an election little more than five weeks away, the Federal Government has opted to extend the terms of two directors on the ABC Board – but only for six months each.

Only days into the campaign for the 9 October poll, the Government found itself in a no win situation of leaving vacancies on the Board or being accused of political appointments so close to an election.

Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, has announced the reappointment of Professor Judith Sloan as Deputy Chair and Ross McLean as a director until at least late February.

“I am delighted Professor Sloan and Mr McLean have accepted the invitation to continue in their roles on the ABC Board. The ABC is one of Australia’s primary cultural institutions with a very significant and valued role to play in Australian life. I am confident Professor Sloan and Mr McLean will continue to make valuable contributions to the ABC.”

They began five year terms in August 1999, with Professor Sloan appointed Deputy in September 2000.

Sloan is a part time Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and Professor of Labour Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. She is also a Director of Mayne Nickless Ltd, Santos Ltd and Chair of SGIC Holdings Ltd.

McLean is Deputy Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia. He is also a Director of Coventry Group Ltd, CCI Training Services Pty Ltd and a member of the Board of Management of Western Australian Municipal Self Insurance Scheme.

The Government is still yet to replace Maurice Newman, who quit three months ago in protest over what he called ‘gross breaches of boardroom confidentiality’ by staff elected director, Romana Koval. And, another ABC director’s position could be up for grabs in December, when John Gallagher’s five year term is due to end.