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Morrison has made the right call on ABC chair appointment

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25.02.2019

As we revealed on Monday, Ita Clare Buttrose is the putative new chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ita Buttrose is poised to become the next chair of the ABC.Credit:AAP

What is required now is for her name to be signed off on by Cabinet and presented to the Governor-General for Executive Council approval.

Ita’s father, the late Charles Oswald Buttrose, served as deputy general manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, as it then was, under Talbot Duckmanton.

Assuming Ita Buttrose is approved this would square a family circle.

In other words, Ita Buttrose comes from a lineage of Australian journalism, leaving aside her own career as journalist, editor, broadcaster and media administrator. On the face of it, this is a good pick by Scott Morrison and may prove to be an inspired one. We shall see.

Among questions will be whether Buttrose has the mettle and the smarts and, indeed, at 77, the stamina to avoid being devoured by responsibilities inherent in the role as chair of a national institution buffeted by tribal politics.

Her first task will be to restore confidence in board oversight of the organisation soiled by its mishandling of tensions between former chairman Justin Milne and the ABC’s managing director Michelle Guthrie.

Beyond that, her overwhelming responsibility will be to ensure that the national broadcaster is provided with a clear sense of direction and the certainty to pursue those responsibilities laid out in the ABC Charter. This was lacking under the........

© Canberra Times