Labor believes the ABC is one of Australia’s most important public institutions.
We believe that 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. 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.
A Shorten 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 and launched the biggest attack on the independence of the ABC in a generation.
The difference between Labor and Liberal could not be clearer: Labor will put people and the services they rely on first. The Liberals are prepared to cut $80 million in funding to the ABC to fund their $80 billion tax cut for big businesses.
Only Labor will reverse Turnbull’s $83.7 million of cuts and guarantee funding certainty over the next ABC budget cycle. This investment demonstrates Labor’s commitment to the ABC’s independence and to maintain the ABC as our comprehensive national broadcaster.