ABC Friends and the ABC have reacted positively to the Federal Budget, but national ABCF President Cassandra Parkinson has warned there is a long way to go to redress the funding cuts over the past decade.
ABC Friends has welcomed the Albanese government meeting its election commitments to:
- shift to five-year funding terms for the ABC and SBS commencing 1 July 2023
- return funding indexation to the ABC, including reinstating $83.7 million over four years to restore funding cut by the previous Government from 2019-22
- fund $32 million over four years for ABC International, under the Pacific Security and Engagement Initiatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
"ABC Friends campaigned hard for these measures and we warmly welcome the government's decisions. But there is a long way to go to redress the damage of the last nine years.
Across all content-making areas, the relentless budget cuts and loss of staff and resources have severely strained the quality of the ABC’s offerings," Ms Parkinson said.
Cassandra Parkinson said that ABC Friends will continue to seek Federal Government investment in a strong national public media organisation.
"Now more than ever Australia needs trusted, high quality investigative journalism. We need more state reporting to guarantee accountability across all levels of government."
The ABC said the Federal Budget will provide direct benefits to ABC audiences across Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.
ABC Managing Director David Anderson said that the increase of $83.7m in operational funding and $32m for international services across four years will allow the ABC to invest in services across all platforms and support the sustainability of ABC services.
The increase in funding will mean:
- Greater capacity to deliver emergency broadcasting services
- Increased investment in ABC Education
- Enhanced digital services.
Mr Anderson said that the additional funding for international services will allow the ABC to:
- Expand ABC Radio Australia’s FM footprint across the Pacific and Timor Leste, and tailor ABC Australia television service to suit Pacific and Asian time zones.
- Create more content for audiences across the Indo-Pacific region including establishing a network of full-time local journalists and a pan-Pacific weekly video news program.
- Enhance the capacity and development of media partners with training.
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