Speaking on SBS News the night before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott promised:
"No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to ABC or SBS."
Since making that promise the Abbott/Turnbull Government has ripped more than $50 million from the SBS.
They tried to cover up for this lie by bringing a Bill into Parliament last year that would have doubled the amount of ads on SBS during prime time.
Our public broadcasters should be properly supported – not forced to turn into commercial broadcasters which rely on advertising to survive. Labor and the cross-bench rightly voted this Bill down. SBS viewers should not be forced to pay for the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s lies with more ads during the shows they love.
The Government and SBS said that they were cutting programs because they couldn’t put more ads on TV. This was untrue - there is only one reason that SBS would have to cut programming – because Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull slashed their budget despite promising not to do so.
At a time when Australians value content, at a time when Australians value Australian voices and diversity, this is not the time when our public broadcasters should be left to cope with so little and suffer the consequences of the Coalition’s broken promises.
The Coalition Government has gone from 'no cuts to the ABC or SBS' to more than half a billion dollars in cuts to the ABC and SBS combined. You can call it a lie, you can call it a broken promise, you can call it deception or you can call it an untruth – one thing is clear; they cannot be trusted.
Migrant communities around Australia rely on the specialist services offered by the SBS and any reduction in language services will be a blow to Australia’s diverse multicultural community.
Since its inception as a single multilingual platform, SBS has had a transformative effect on both the Australian media landscape and the broader community. By developing a greater understanding of our cultural diversity, it has enhanced and broadened multiculturalism in Australia and, in turn, helped build bridges among all groups.
It is therefore disturbing that the Coalition thinks it can break its promise on SBS funding and raid the Budget of this already very efficient organisation.
As much as the Coalition try to explain away their broken promise, Australia’s diverse communities know that they cannot be trusted on the SBS.