Two Greens senators have written to the board of the ABC asking that they stick to their guns on the decision to move the Triple J Hottest 100 from Australia Day, describing January 26th as a “day of invasion and subsequently of grieving”.
The letter, from senators Rachel Siewert and Sarah Hanson-Young, was in response to criticism from Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, who called upon the board to reverse Triple J’s decision. There has been a concerted backlash from conservative politicians and media about Triple J’s move, despite the fact the actual investment the right-wing establishment has to a once-yearly music programme is questionable at best.
“We are aware that Communication Minister Senator Mitch Fifield has asked you to reverse Triple J’s decision,” the letter, addressed to ABC Chairman Justin Milne, reads. “We urge the board to stick with Triple J’s decision which was made in consultation with the station’s listenership and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.”
The decision by Triple J to change the date came after a period of consultation, including a poll which found that 60% of the station’s listeners support a change. PEDESTRIAN.TV revealed that as far back as September last year, Triple J were strongly considering changing the date, and were facing significant internal and external pressure to do so.
The letter from Siewert and Hanson-Young, who are the Greens’ spokespeople on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Arts and Media respectively, argues that the new system for allocating the date of the countdown is more inclusive.
“We, like Triple J’s listenership, agree that the best music of the year should be enjoyed by all Australians, not overshadowed by the controversy over which day we should celebrate Australia.”
There has been no indication at this point from the management of the ABC that they are considering challenging the decision made by Triple J. Expect a little more bluster from politicians and the media a little closer to the date in question.