Justin Milne resigns from ABC chairman role

Justin Milne resigns from ABC chairman role

AFTER days of chaos and shocking revelations about his conduct, ABC chairman Justin Milne has resigned.

Milne is understood to have handed in his resignation around 12pm.

Milne's resignation comes after Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told a press conference that Milne should have a think about whether to stay in the job.

According to the act, the board's duties include ensuring the functions of the ABC are performed efficiently, maintaining the integrity of the organisation, and ensuring news reporting is accurate and impartial.

The government on Wednesday ordered a communications department investigation into the published allegations that Milne had pressured Guthrie to fire the two journalists, warning she was "putting the future of the ABC at risk" and jeopardizing $472 million in government funding the chairman wanted for his pet project to digitize the broadcaster.

Mr Milne was appointed as chairman of the ABC previous year by the Turnbull government.

Around 70 per cent of Australians want a strong ABC, despite government spending cuts and daily withering criticism from its commercial rivals - who baulk at what they see as unfair competition from the taxpayer-funded behemoth.

Player ratings - Wonderful Danny Welbeck
Made some good saves here and there, though it would have been extremely disappointing had he not made them. But it was Welbeck who took the initiative in the first-half.

"In fact I feel that the interests of the ABC have always been uppermost in my mind", he said.

Board members had already been made aware of Milne's directives to Guthrie in a document she prepared for the board after she was asked to resign as managing director on September 13. It turns out it was a lot more colourful than initially reported - not least because Milne's actual words about Alberici were, "They fricken hate her". Get rid of her. "There is no guarantee they (the coalition) will lose the next election". Ms Guthrie has since been sacked.

Ms Wong said despite Mr Turnbull's claims, it appeared Mr Milne spoke with the former prime minister and a Liberal minister before seeking to have a journalist sacked.

"Nobody from the government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC".

In another example, government complaints about Canberra political editor Andrew Probyn saw Milne tell Guthrie by email that "you have to shoot him".

Speaking to The Guardian Australia yesterday, ABC sources said Milne tried to pressure Guthrie into reversing Triple J's decision to move the Hottest 100 song countdown from Australia Day as "Malcolm will go ballistic".

Horrified by the suggestion the government could have a say in their jobs and content, ABC journalists held union meetings in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart and passed motions calling either for an inquiry or for Milne to stand aside.

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