The Labor Party strongly believes the ABC is one of Australia’s most important public institutions and we remain committed to ensuring adequate funding and support for Australia’s public broadcasters so that Australians continue to receive high quality broadcasting services, free from political and commercial interference.
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 areas providing news, public announcements and emergency messages.
It is therefore not surprising that Essential Research found that Australia’s most trusted media outlet remains ABC television news and current affairs.
Since coming to office the Coalition has cut more than half a billion dollars from the ABC and abolished the Australia Network despite the fact that the network reaches up to 167 million households, giving our vital Asian neighbours, and the world, an insight into Australian life and values.
More than 200 people turned out in Wollongong following the announcement to voice their deep concern about the Government's cuts. Local voices and independent broadcasting should not be the victim of the Coalition’s broken promises and unfair cuts – they have lied to the Australian people about their intentions for funding of the ABC.
Labor recognises the importance of the ABC being maintained as an independent and comprehensive national public broadcaster, catering for a diversity of interests in the Australian community and we will continue to defend this.
In government, Labor implemented measures to ensure the institutional independence of our public broadcasters and their respective governing boards. We did this because we value our public broadcasters. The government of the day should not undermine the independence of the ABC or SBS.
The former Labor Government also provided additional funding that helped establish ABC3, a dedicated digital children’s channel and identified efficiencies in the ABC which helped to fund things like ABC News 24 and ABC online.
A future Labor Government will ensure our public broadcasters are supported and will increase funding to the ABC.