Dick Smith declares ABC 'treasonous', launches attack ads

ENTREPRENEUR Dick Smith is launching attack ads against ABC TV news shows for what he calls "treasonous" bias in the debate over Australian population growth.

Mr Smith claimed in an interview with Fairfax Media that politicians from across the political spectrum have told him privately that they agree with his calls to cut immigration to avoid future social and environmental fracturing.

But he claimed they were afraid to speak out publicly because the ABC will label them racist.

Mr Smith said: "This is warping our democratic process, it is basically treasonous."

Mr Smith wants to slash immigration numbers to around 70,000 in order to see population level off at around 30 million. He has spent $1 million in recent on an advertising campaign to promote his policy idea.

However, an ABC spokesman rubbished Mr Smith's claims of bias against the broadcaster calling them "untrue and not supported by any evidence."

The spokesman told Fairfax: "The ABC has no position on the issue of population growth, has no ban on reporting on this subject, and has issued no decrees or any other type of instruction to staff about reporting on this issue.

"The ABC has frequently reported on Mr Smith's views, including in long-form interviews, news stories and a documentary."

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson speaks on the federal government's schools funding package, also known as Gonski 2.0, in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Dick Smith said he will "keep getting One Nation candidates elected" if politicians don't take action on immigration. MICK TSIKAS

Mr Smith's concerns about overpopulation also led him to announce that he will donate $2 million to marginal seat candidates in the next election who have a policy to limit long-term population growth.

So far only One Nation candidates are likely to qualify for his funding, he says. But he said he expected Labor and Liberal to soon develop population policies.

"If they don't, I'll keep getting One Nation candidates elected," he said.

He denied the campaign was racist, pointing out that he wouldn't vote for One Nation himself because he rejects their views on climate science and Muslims.

He said he was running the campaign to "take away the ABC's credibility" on the issue.