Budget must restore $631M Government has slashed from the ABC
Since 2014, the Government’s attacks on the ABC includes:
- $196.8 million – Australia Network 10-year contract cancelled – May 2014
- $43.5 million – 1% “efficiency” “down payment” cut – May 2014
- $254 million – 4.6% cut to base funding over five years – November 2015
- $30 million – Cut to Digital Content Delivery funding – May 2016
- $20 million – Cut to Enhanced News Gathering funding – May 2016
- $2.8 million – Cross-agency Budget cut – May 2016
- $84 million – Indexation freeze on base funding – May 2018
TOTAL: $631.1 million
These cuts have come despite then Liberal leader Tony Abbott pledging “no cuts to the ABC or SBS” on the eve of the 2013 Federal Election.
CPSU ABC Section Secretary Sinddy Ealy said the Budget presents the Government “with one final opportunity to show it values and respects the ABC as much as the Australian public does. Either the Coalition restores the $631 million they’ve ripped out of the ABC over the past five years, or we’ll be reminding all Australian voters of this broken promise and the lasting damage these cuts have caused.”
17 million Australians read, watch or listen to ABC content each and every week. That’s more than seven out of 10 Australians the Government is thumbing its nose at by slashing funding, making it so much harder to produce content, from the ABC’s Emergency Broadcasting during the recent bushfires through to Triple J’s Hottest 100, the genius of Bluey on ABC Kids or the brilliant live music broadcasts produced by Classic FM.
If the Government won’t restore this funding, they are giving Australians 631 million reasons to vote them out at the upcoming Federal Election. An independent, properly funded ABC is vitally important to Australian democracy, and it must be protected for future generations.