Tony Abbott says he has no plans to change the ABC's charter even though he has chastised it for being an "advertising agent for a left-wing British newspaper".
The Prime Minister is facing calls from his Liberal colleagues to tackle the national broadcaster for partnering the Guardian newspaper in the publication of damaging leaks about Australian spying activities.
Senator Cory Bernardi and Speaker Bronwyn Bishop used the coalition party room to heap criticism on the ABC, with Mrs Bishop questioning whether the ABC's charter could be enforced or changed.
Other Liberals expressed the view that the ABC was not balanced and that its expansion into online services was cannibalising other media companies.
One MP questioned the ABC's need for four channels.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has also been critical of the ABC's decision to partner with the Guardian in publishing leaks showing Australia spied on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, defended the broadcaster against calls for it to be privatised.
Mr Abbott said the ABC was "guilty of poor judgment" in broadcasting material that caused national security difficulties.
"My intention is to speak plainly and candidly with the Australian people in the hope that ABC management will see sense . . . Why should the ABC be acting as an advertising agent for a left-wing British newspaper?"
ABC managing director Mark Scott said the spying scandal story deserved publication.
"The Guardian Australia came to us on that original story," he said. "We independently reported it and we checked it out and went to our own sources around it."