Indigenous leader Warren Mundine has stepped down from his role on the SBS Board to focus on other business commitments.
The former Liberal candidate was appointed when the Coalition was in government in October 2020 as a non-executive director on the public broadcaster’s nine-person board.
SBS managing director James Taylor said Mr Mundine was “stepping down” due to his “other significant business and personal commitments”.
“I’d like to thank Warren for his contributions as a member of the board. We wish him well,” he said.
Love news? Stream 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends 31 October, 2022 >
Mr Mundine was less than two years into a five year appointment and during his short spell in the role when he encountered criticism over a series of social media exchanges.
The 66-year-old came under fire when he called Ben Eltham – a journalist and media lecturer at Monash University – a “c**t” for posting then-federal MP Craig Kelly’s phone number on Twitter.
“You are a c**t. What a disgraceful human being you are,” he tweeted.
Mr Mundine also shared abusive tweets about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau labelling him “a complete asshole”, a “fool” and a “complete f**kwit”.
SBS has condemned the tweets and asked Mr Mundine to remove them because they were “not in line with the values of SBS”.
“The comment made by Mr Mundine is not in line with the values of SBS, does not adhere to our policies, and is not consistent with the expectations which apply to our staff or those we work with,” an SBS spokesperson said at the time.
“The SBS Board are expected to behave in accordance with the SBS Code of Conduct and Mr Mundine has been reminded of his obligations as an SBS Board member, and has since deleted the tweet.”
Then-Opposition communications spokesperson Michelle Rowland slammed the Coalition government and demanded communications minister Paul Fletcher to explain why Mr Mundine should remain on the board.
“Please confirm whether you, as the responsible minister, are satisfied that the performance of Mr Mundine meets the high standards expected of SBS board members,” Ms Rowland said, The Guardian reported.
“Specifically I refer to conduct by Mr Mundine on Twitter that may bring SBS into disrepute and seek your explanation as to why he shouldn’t be removed by the governor general for misbehaviour in accordance with … the SBS Act.
“It is a duty of the SBS board to maintain the independence and integrity of the SBS.”
Mr Mundine is a Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yuin man and sits on several company boards including Aura Energy Limited and TrueGreen Mobility Group.