Dear Friends, we issued the following media statement on Friday in response to the inaugural ABC Public Meeting:
ABC NOW COSTS AUSTRALIANS ONLY FOUR CENTS A DAY
Successive Governments Cut Budget in Half
Friends congratulate the ABC
The inaugural ABC Annual Public Meeting was told today that the ABC had been slashed since 1988, when the famous “Eight-cents-per-day” ABC TV promotion was first aired – to just four cents.
The Federal President of ABC Friends National Margaret Reynolds said after the meeting that, in spite of the highlighting of this enormous cut, the ABC had still expanded, thanks to the quality and dedication of the workforce, as much as changes in technology.
However the quantity of Australian productions has decreased significantly over that time.
“I think the current figure of 4 cents a day should be trebled to restore the ABC and its value,” Ms Reynolds said.
“The half hour question time could have been longer, but the board and management nevertheless dealt with some hard questions which were answered with the kind of candour we would like to see in Parliamentary Question Time,“ she said.
“So, by all means, Congratulations to the ABC on holding this first Annual Public Meeting.”
ABC Friends NSW President Ed Davis said It was good to be reminded of the ABC’s extraordinary history and its deeply embedded place in Australia’s culture.
“It is indeed a national treasure and a clear message from the meeting was that it must be properly funded,” he said.
“The appalling cuts imposed in the 2014 budget must be reversed and legislation introduced to ensure that ABC funding is increased annually in line with the CPI and not left to federal government meddling.”
Attendees, present and online, were reassured by Chairman Justin Milne that the ABC will continue to invest in radio and television, while also pushing with energy into digital modes.
The audience was also told that the ABC remained deeply committed to Radio National and to maintaining high quality and excellence across its platforms.