I believe that the ABC is one of Australia’s most important public institutions. The ABC plays a very important role in adding to the diversity of news in our media landscape and providing an opportunity for Australian content to be shown and heard. The ABC also plays a vital role in our regional and remote communities providing news, public announcements and emergency messages.
I’m proud that when we were last in government, Labor implemented measures to protect the institutional independence of our public broadcasters and their governing boards. Labor also provided additional funding that helped establish a dedicated digital children’s channel and supported efficiency measures in the ABC that helped fund ABC News 24 and ABC online.
A Labor Government will reverse Turnbull’s $83.7 million unfair cut to the ABC, as well as guarantee funding certainty over the next ABC budget cycle. The ABC is funded on a three-yearly, or triennial, basis – with the next cycle to begin next year. That’s why it’s critical that we fight against Turnbull’s unfair cuts to the ABC now.
Labor’s commitment will ensure our public broadcaster will have the funding stability it needs to meet its Charter requirements, safeguard jobs at the ABC, adapt to the digital media environment and maintain content and services that Australians trust and rely on.
On the eve of the 2013 election the Liberals promised there would be “no cuts to the ABC”, yet they cut over $254 million in 2014 and a further $28 million in 2016 – cuts which have seen 800 jobs lost and a drop in ABC content and services. This year, the Liberals announced yet another cut of $83.7 million by freezing indexation of ABC operational funding from 2019-20.
But that’s not all. The Liberal/National Coalition have launched the biggest attack on the independence of the ABC in a generation. This year alone, this out of touch government has launched a damaging “competitive neutrality inquiry”, announced a further efficiency review and has three bills before Parliament to meddle with the ABC Act and Charter.
Enough is enough. 17 million Australians consume some form of ABC content every week. In regional Australia in particular, the ABC plays a vital role in keeping regional communities connected with local news and emergency information. At a time when too many Australians feel disengaged from their democracy and distrustful of their representatives, Labor wants to restore trust and faith in our institutions. Part of restoring trust is supporting a healthy public interest media sector, and protecting that trusted institution – the ABC.
That’s why Labor will stand up for the ABC, and fight against the ideological war the conservatives are waging against our public broadcaster.
If you want to show Malcolm Turnbull that you support our ABC, as well as stay updated on what you can do to help protect public broadcasting, please sign this petition: