‘Read the room’: ABC move stuns ScoMo


Scott Morrison has revealed he was "surprised" that ABC employees voted to give themselves a pay rise during the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff at the national broadcaster had been urged to delay a 2 per cent increase for six months.

But it was this week confirmed that they voted against the deferral, setting them apart from public servants and journalists in private media.

Speaking on 2GB on Thursday, the Prime Minister was asked if workers at the national broadcaster should "read the room".

"I think so," Mr Morrison said.

"I was quite surprised that they took that deal.

"There is 112 Commonwealth Government agencies that elected to take the freeze."

Mr Morrison said the six-month delay would have been in line with public servants, politicians and journalists in private media that were forced to take cuts.

Scott Morrison said he was surprised about the move from ABC employees. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Scott Morrison said he was surprised about the move from ABC employees. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

The Prime Minister also raised concerns about an ongoing pay rise dispute for wharfies between the maritime union and Patrick Terminals that was delaying medical deliveries.

The union on Wednesday offered a 2.5 per cent rise as a peace deal, but the groups did not reach an agreement.

"This is a very serious issue and it needs to get sorted out," Mr Morrison said.

"We want those parties to sort it out."

He was also asked about the controversial land sale for the Western Sydney Airport after an audit revealed the Government paid 10 times what the land was worth.

"I was not happy with that outcome," Mr Morrison said, adding the infrastructure department was conducting a review.

"I have no doubt there will be some strong action taken."

Mr Morrison will on Thursday address the National Press Club, where he will speak about a $1.3 billion manufacturing plan.

He told 2BG that developing space technology would be an important part of Australia's advanced manufacturing future.

"It's an exciting part," he said.

"It's going to be an enormously large part of the global economy."

Originally published as 'Read the room': ABC move stuns ScoMo