Veteran ABC reporter Matt Peacoc bids farewell

Veteran ABC journalist and board member Matt Peacock has said the past few years have been "very tough" as he prepares to leave the public broadcaster.

The senior 7.30 journalist, who helped uncover the scale of Australia's asbestos crisis in the late '70s, revealed on Thursday he was among the 11 staff who had recently opted for a voluntary redundancy.

After winning awards for his asbestos coverage, Peacock went on to work as the ABC's Washington, New York and London correspondent. His life's work was the basis for the 2012 television drama Devil's Duststarring Ewen Leslie.

In a farewell note to colleagues, Peacock said after more than three decades at the ABC it was time to make way for some "fresh talent".

"It's not been an easy decision, but on balance I think it's a good time for me to leave," he said. "My five year term on the board is drawing to a close. Arrangements are already being made for the election of my successor in early 2018."

The senior 7.30 reporter went on to say by then, Michelle Guthrie's digital transformation will be well under way.

"It's been a very tough five years, as everyone knows, with cutbacks, attacks from the ABC's enemies, reorganisations and redundancies - as all the while those of us remaining continue to get quality programs to air and online," he wrote.

"Hopefully we are about to enter a better period of increased Australian production, less over-management, more creative and specialist content and engaged workforce. We aren't there yet, but these are the goals the managing director Michelle Guthrie has set herself and they are backed by the board. I wish her every success."

Peacock went on to say he was confident the ABC would survive Guthrie's transformation and "grow stronger during the digital disruption that is enveloping media everywhere".

The veteran broadcaster will finish up at 7.30 in February. In the meantime, he has flagged his interest in forming an ABC alumni group to help mentor younger staff members.

This story Veteran ABC reporter Matt Peacoc bids farewell first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.