Less money for the ABC: ABC Friends slams tokenistic budget announcement

Less money for the ABC: ABC Friends slams tokenistic budget announcement

ABC Friends National has slammed the tokenistic budget allocation made for the ABC, which is just a fraction of the funds lost under successive coalition governments.

“The Treasurer announced $ 7.1 billion surplus and $158 billion in tax cuts,” said ABC Friends National President Margaret Reynolds.

“What the ABC got was less funding.”

“I suppose that shows where the ABC rates in this Government’s priorities,” she said.

The announcement that $43.5m would continue to be made available for regional and “enhanced news gathering” services over the next three years is not a funding boost and is far less than the $83.7m ripped out of the ABC at this time last year.

Consider the record of the Coalition Government under Prime Ministers Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison over 5 years, resulting in:

  • $254m in cuts in 2014 (despite promises of “no cuts”)
  • $83.7m further cut in the 2018 budget
  • 1,000 jobs gone, including many of the most experienced staff
  • Working studios closed in Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth
  • Australia Network crucial TV broadcasts to Asia and the Pacific shut down
  • Radio Australia broadcasts to Asia and the Pacific shut down, with loss of 80 jobs
  • Short wave radio broadcasts shut down, leaving much of remote Australia without a radio service at all. (The ABC’s Charter requires that the ABC service ALL Australians).

“Coalition governments clearly have a bias against the ABC, which enjoys a more than 80 percent approval rate with the public,” Ms. Reynolds said. “So ABC Friends will continue raising funds to target marginal seats at the Federal Election.”

“We’ll be asking marginal-seat voters to only vote for candidates they can trust with the ABC’s future.”

Further comment:

Ranald Macdonald
ABC Friends National Spokesman
Ph: 0424 545 516