Thursday, 7 December 2017
Questions without Notice
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Special Broadcasting Service
I thank Senator Urquhart for her question. The funding for the ABC, as colleagues would be aware, is conducted on a triennium-funding basis. The triennium funding was outlined a couple of budgets back. Colleagues would also be aware, from looking at the last budget, that that was continued. That is the state of funding for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I should remind colleagues that the ABC does receive in excess of a billion dollars a year, which is not an insignificant contribution by the government on behalf of the taxpayers for the national broadcaster. Obviously, we also, in parallel, make a significant contribution to SBS as the other public broadcaster. All colleagues in this place recognise the important role and function of the ABC. Each of us is perfectly entitled to form our own view about particular ABC programming decisions and the areas where the ABC undertakes its activities. That is a good and healthy thing. The ABC has legislated independence, and that means that every colleague in this place should feel perfectly entitled to express their views, good, bad or indifferent, about the work of the ABC. Colleagues do take that opportunity regularly, including through Senate estimates, and I'm sure they will continue to do so.