ABC Friends News

GREENS/XENOPHON TEAM NECK AND NECK – State of the Parties’ ABC Policies

Both The Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team are courting ABC supporters by announcing generous policies. Both parties say they will be supporting the full restoration of ABC funding to pre-Abbott-Turnbull levels. In a statement released to ABC friends, the Greens said they continued to oppose the Abbott-Turnbull funding cuts to the ABC and “…will work to return this funding in the next term of Parliament.” “In addition, the Greens will make the current iView trial of audio description a permanent feature to ensure it continues to be available online into the future for people with hearing impairment,” in a policy “costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.”
Not-for-Profit group ABC Friends does not endorse any political parties, but we DO endorse candidates who promise to restore ABC funding, or are committed to improve funding and ensure the continued independence of the ABC” Any candidate who is not included on the list below, whether adhering to a party-policy platform or not, is welcome to contact us at [email protected] and we will post an update to our members and on social media. Although we welcome any extra funding for the ABC, ABC Friends does not agree in principal  with “tied funding,” that allows governments, and not ABC Management, to make decisions about content. However any additional funding will always be welcomed.
POLICIES ANNOUNCED SO FAR
GREENS
Statement: The Greens continue to oppose the Abbott-Turnbull funding cuts to the ABC and SBS totalling $400M and will work to return this funding in the next term of Parliament. In addition, the Greens will make the current iView trial of audio description a permanent feature to ensure it continues to be available online into the future for people with hearing impairment.
The Greens will also review audio description by Government broadcasters, and legislative requirements for other broadcasters, and develop an action plan for rolling out audio description more widely. This will help determine the best way to make audio description more widespread on the ABC and SBS, and improve the use of audio description by commercial providers.  Our policy has been costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and would cost $0.8 million a year.
NICK XENAPHON TEAM
  • A ten year funding model for the ABC rather than the current triennial funding model;
  • Restoring ABC cuts made in the 2014 budget, coupled with a requirement for regional content in states such as SA;-
  • Restoring the ABC’s Fact Check program which is set to be axed after the election.

FEDERAL LABOR

  • $60m funding tied to Australian drama production for the ABC
  • $21m funding tied to produce and broadcast 500 hours of women’s sport

VICTORIAN LABOR

ABC Friends would like to thank and acknowledge the Victorian State Government for pledging to support the ABC in that state through its ABC Content Initiative. We challenge all state governments to also contribute!

  • $80m in tied funding for Victorian-produced content for the ABC
COALITION GOVERNMENT
We are awaiting a response from the government on any new policies to be announced regarding ABC funding.
So far, there has been no stepping back from its May Budget position of ongoing funding cuts to the ABC of more than $100m per year – including the breaking of the Australia Network contract.
This last determination resulted in our country having a muted voice in Asia and The Pacific, and seriously reduced informed reporting from the region back to the Australian community.