The ABC has directly said it prioritises the benefit of the ABC over the correct use of your tax dollars, according to Digital Editor Jack Houghton.

The national broadcaster was grilled at Senate Estimates this week over its decision to use taxpayer money to cover the personal legal bills of its reporter Louise Milligan.

Milligan defamed Liberal MP Andrew Laming on her personal Twitter account and the ABC paid approximately $200,000 covering her legal fees, including a $79,000 defamation payout to Laming himself.

During Senate Estimates, ABC Chief Financial Officer Melanie Kleyn defended the public broadcaster’s use of taxpayer money to bail Milligan out.

“In the course of running the organisation, there are a lot of expenses that we incur without an express legal obligation, so it’s about assessing and making the best decisions for the organisation,” Ms Kleyn said.

“In weighing up all of the things that were in front of us, we can only look and figure out ‘okay, what’s the best course of action at this point in time for the ABC’.”

According to Mr Houghton, this was an “egregious misuse” of public funds.

“If that is allowed under the act, the act needs to be re-written,” he said.

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