The union representing the public sector including the national broadcasters, the CPSU, today welcomes the announcement that an Albanese Government would provide a secure funding model for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service, free of election whims.
Since 2014 the ABC has been forced to cut over 1350 jobs, due to continued budget cuts in excess of $787 million.
This has resulted in the cutting of services, technology, language programs, news, entertainment, specialist, and local teams. As well as the gutting of the ABC comedy channel, the flagship 7.45am news radio broadcast, the ABC life website, and vast reductions in independent production of drama and content for Australian screens.
CPSU members at the national broadcasters welcome the certainty and stability that a five-year funding cycle would bring compared to the current triennial basis. The longer funding cycle will better protect the broadcasters from being used as an ideological football during election season, or as a profile builder for Liberal and National back benchers.
Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary said, “For too long the Liberal National Government has attacked the ABC and SBS as part of some confected culture war, cutting funding and forcing job losses. Moving from a three to five-year funding term will eliminate some of this politicisation.”
“The national broadcasters have delivered for us again and again, through all major crises of the last few years. In fact, the ABC has provided lifesaving information throughout the droughts, fires and now a health pandemic. It is clear that Australia needs a strong ABC and SBS now more than ever.
“CPSU members and the ABC board have been calling for a five-year funding term for a number of years, we hope to see a further funding commitment from all parties this election to ensure a broadcaster that reflects us and share ours stories.
“Throughout the pandemic our broadcasters have kept us informed in our native tongues, our kids learning and laughing, and us entertained when the walls felt like closing in on us.
“CPSU members welcome the study of what funding the ABC and SBS need to fulfill its purpose. Funding that will allow Australian stories to be developed and shared, not just funding that only just keeps the lights on. “