Petty Turnbull Budget cuts to ABC to cause lasting damage

The CPSU has condemned the Turnbull Government’s decision to cut another $83 million in funding to the ABC in last night’s Budget.

The Budget confirmed the Government has frozen the indexation on ABC funding to cut $83 million over three years.

The cuts come on top of the $254 million the Coalition has already stripped out of the ABC since 2014.

CPSU ABC Section Secretary Sinddy Ealy said: “ABC staff are absolutely devastated by last night’s announcement. These cuts have prompted the Managing Director to finally state what many ABC staff have been saying for some time; the ABC has been slashed to the point now where it cannot meet its critical Charter obligations to serve all Australians.”

“The ABC has been forced to sack nearly 800 people since this Government began its cuts in 2014, and those who remain have faced ever-growing workloads and stress as they’ve tried to minimise the impact on audiences. Ultimately all Australians have been casualties of these cuts, especially people living in regional and rural areas where the removal of analogue services and emergency broadcasting has had a real impact.”

“This latest round of vindictive cuts has proved to staff that the ABC cannot survive another term of the Turnbull Government. The vast majority of Australians value and support the ABC and the news and entertainment it produces, but the Government appears to deeply resent that the ABC attempts to cater to all Australians.”

“We will be meeting with ABC management urgently to discuss when and how the impact of these cuts will be felt by staff. The reality is that a change of government is the only way to ensure the ABC survives as a commercial-free and editorially independent entity. That’s what the community wants and CPSU members will be working with community organisations and politicians to make sure it happens.”

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “This is a gutless attack on the ABC, apparently payback for the ABC trying to do its job of keeping the Australian public informed. The Coalition is once again proving that it’s a political movement that’s defined by ideology rather than the principles of good government and serving in the interests of all Australians.”

This media release has been updated to reflect clarification by the Minister of the amount of funding cut in the Budget.