Aunty breathes a sigh of relief as budget remains unchanged | radioinfo

Aunty breathes a sigh of relief as budget remains unchanged

Wednesday 03 April, 2019

...but Greens Senator says the national broadcaster "will continue to lose out under Liberals."

On the ABC News site's coverage of the Federal Budget's "winners and losers" it lists itself as neither. 

Instead it considers the outcome "neutral" with the ABC's base funding unchanged at $3.16 billion over the next three financial years.

However, the government has flagged that it considers the current staffing levels as too high with 4,180 employees, and would like to see that number reduced by around 50.

On the positive side, the government has agreed to continue funding the ABC's "enhanced news measure," at an extra $44 million over three years. Since it was first introduced six years ago, the funds have been put to good use enhancing the ABC's news gathering capabilities, particularly in regional areas.

However, the funding was due to expire in the coming year and it's extension for another three has come as a welcome reprieve to those working in news. 

The Greens says Scott Morrison's pre-election budget has confirmed cuts to the ABC will continue under the Liberals.

"This is a government that has undermined the integrity of the ABC again and again and now, in this budget, they've locked in further cuts. The ABC needs a boost in funding, and under this government it continues to lose out," Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"This was an opportunity to ensure our ABC was well-resourced, by increasing funding and setting five-year funding cycles. Instead, the Liberals want to cut funding and 50 more jobs.

"This comes on the back of almost $340 million in funding cuts, pointless reviews that undermine the ABC's independence and instances of political interference.

"Even the Labor Party won't return the Liberal Party's full cuts to the ABC. The only way to strengthen the ABC, to restore its funding and give our beloved public broadcaster stability and certainty, is to have Greens fighting for it in the Senate.

"The ABC is overwhelmingly Australia's most trusted news source. It provides a vital service across the country, it is where we turn when there is a disaster, emergency or bushfire. To do its job as the public expects, to continue producing the new Australians trust and the stories we love, the ABC must be well-funded."

The portfolio budget statements list full financials for the national broadcaster.


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