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AUS: Appointments to the board of the ABC

The Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, today announced the appointment of Professor Judith Sloan, Mr Ross McLean and Mr John Gallagher QC to the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Professor Sloan and Mr McLean begin their five year terms immediately, replacing the Hon John Bannon and Ms Wendy Silver. The Government thanks both Mr Bannon and Ms Silver for their distinguished service to the national broadcaster. Mr Gallagher will begin his five year term on December 9. He will replace the Hon Ian Macphee QC.

'The three new Board members will bring to the ABC a wealth of private, public and community sector expertise and experience. They will help ensure that the Board of the ABC possesses the widest possible range of skills and interests, and will assist the national broadcaster to meet the challenges of the new millenium - especially the transition to digital broadcasting,' Senator Alston said.

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

'Professor Sloan's experience in corporate affairs, government relations and labour relations will add significantly to the Board's expertise,' Senator Alston said.

Mr McLean is the Deputy Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, Chairman of the WA Government's Trade Advisory Council, President of the Association for the Blind of WA, Chairman of the National Childcare Accreditation Council and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.

'In addition to his extensive corporate and community involvement, Mr McLean served as a Member for four years of the WA State Advisory Committee of the ABC. He had a distinguished parliamentary career of more than seven years in the House of Representatives as the Member for Perth from 1975 to 1983,' Senator Alston said.

Mr Gallagher has been a highly respected member of the Queensland Bar for 35 years, and a Queen's Counsel for 17 years. In addition to his extensive legal knowledge, Mr Gallagher was a Director of Mackay Television Ltd from 1971 to 1987, and has held numerous Directorships of companies since the 1960s.

'Mr Gallagher's appointment will ensure that the Board continues to have strong legal skills and is fully aware of the needs and interests of the smaller States and of regional Australia,' Senator Alston said.

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