Thursday, 11 June 2020
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the ABC has asked staff to volunteer for redundancies as it prepares to axe more than 200 positions to meet the Federal Government's $84 million budget cut,
(ii) more than $300 million has been cut from the ABC by the Coalition Government since 2013,
(iii) ratings show the ABC almost doubled its audience in March as the COVID-19 crisis took hold in Australia,
(iv) 60% of people in bushfire-affected areas said information from the ABC helped ensure their safety,
(v) emergency broadcasting during the summer bushfires cost the ABC an additional $3m,
(vi) the public broadcaster is the only news source in many regional areas, and
(vii) accurate news and information, and the telling of Australian stories is more important than ever right now; and
(b) calls on the Government to restore every dollar cut from the ABC's budget since 2013.
Over this triennium, the ABC will receive $3.2 billion, which is over $1 billion a year. This investment from taxpayers gives the ABC more financial security than any other media organisation across the country. The government's investment in the ABC is important in underpinning media diversity and is a significant contribution to civic journalism across the country. As stated before, GetUp engaged a consulting firm to prepare a report that incorrectly concluded that the ABC had lost $783 million in funding since 2014. ABC funding has not decreased, and the budget papers indicate that funding in 2019-20 is, in fact, higher than it was in 2013-14 and will be higher again in the year 2021-22.