Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Future of Ramp Up in the hands of the ABC

The future of the online disability forum ABC Ramp Up is up to the board and management of the ABC.

The ABC was provided with two years of seed funding for the establishment of ABC Ramp Up in 2010 by the previous government.

This funding was extended for another two years in 2012, with the clear expectation by the previous government that ABC Ramp Up would be incorporated into the ABC’s core business upon the expiry of start-up funding from the Department of Social Services in June 2014.

After stepping into the role of Assistant Minister for Social Services, I was concerned that the ABC might not incorporate ABC Ramp Up into its core operations.

In January this year I wrote to ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott, to urge him to continue ABC Ramp Up, given its importance to achieving the goals of the National Disability Strategy and the ABC’s responsibilities as a publicly-funded broadcaster.

The ABC Ramp Up site has played an important role as a centre for discussion, debate and awareness-raising on disability issues.

The future of ABC Ramp Up is a decision for the ABC and I would hope they recognise its importance.