February 2024 news and updates

February 2024 news and updates

We’re now in the second half of this government’s term of office. In next to no time we’ll be heading towards another federal election.

In its first 18 months, the Albanese government made some real improvements to the ABC’s funding and independence. But those measures weren't enough to arrest the ABC’s slow decline.

Last year, soon after five year funding was announced, the ABC underwent yet another restructure. Another 120 jobs disappeared, along with some of our favourite programs. On current funding levels, we can expect more of the same in coming years.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful but we need the government to do much more before its term ends. Otherwise, as we said in our budget submission, the future looks grim for the ABC.

We can’t go into the next election hoping that sometime after 2025 the ABC might receive a bit more funding.

We must work hard this year to persuade Anthony Albanese that his government must do much more to support the ABC

If we’re to have chance of succeeding we’ll need your help.

We’d love to have you as a member! I encourage you to join ABC Friends if you are not already a member.

If you can, please consider making a donation to support our work.

Can Kim Williams save a besieged ABC?

Kim Williams

The new ABC Chair will have plenty to occupy his attention when he starts in March.


Tell us what you think

To help us plan our activities for 2024, we’ve put together a short questionnaire.

Can you complete our survey?

It will take no more than 7 minutes of your time - we know because we timed it!


Vale Mac Stewart

Vale Mac Stewart

On Tuesday 13 February, Mac Stewart died. Mac was an active member of ABC Friends Queensland and a representative on the national body in 2022 and 2023.

Ross McDowell, the President of ABC Friends Queensland, said:

“Mac was intelligent and complex and fondly regarded by our Qld committee. ABC Friends Queensland was, to some extent, his family.

We miss you Mac.”

ABC Friends sends our condolences to Mac’s friends and family.

Mac’s next of kin, Simon Bowler, has written a heartfelt farewell that you can read here

Podcast of the Month

Podcast of the Month

Welcome to our first podcast recommendation for 2024 - a great new program from the ABC, Global Roaming.


Antoinette Lattouf case: flashpoint for a thorny media debate

Antoinette Lattouf’s unfair dismissal claim provoked alarm among ABC staff and widespread concern that external parties had sought to interfere in the ABC’s editorial decisions.


2024 Budget: a bleak future for the ABC

Jim Chalmers

On current trends the ABC’s revenue is set to go backwards in the next five years. It faces a bleak future if there’s no increase to its funding.


Can you help our campaign in the Dunkley by-election?

As pre-polling begins in the by-election for the Victorian seat of Dunkley, ABC Friends Victoria will be there to remind voters that we need a strong, properly-funded ABC.


Visitors to Adelaide Writers Week will see lots of ABC Friends!

If you’re travelling to Adelaide next month for Writers Week, make sure you keep an eye out for other ABC friends.


Peter Greste talks to ABC Friends Tasmania

ABC Friends Tasmania and the University of Tasmania School of Creative Arts and Media invite you to Dying to Tell the Story - why frontline journalism has never been more important and never more dangerous, and how correspondents cope.


NSW Members: Save the Date

Save the date for the ABC Friends 2024 Excellence Award with guest speaker,The Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for the Arts.


Thank you again for all your support.

Warm regards,

Cassandra Parkinson
National President
ABC Friends