Since coming into Government after the election on 21 May 2022, very little has happened to restore the ABC’s funding which was so severely cut during the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison years – to the tune of at least $460 million.
On 13 March 2014, the Guardian reported as follows:
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has questioned the future of the international broadcaster, Australia Network, saying the money it costs to run could be better directed elsewhere.
It's not about the ABC promoting its news programs... into the region, it's actually meant to be fulfilling the Australian Government's foreign policy objectives.
The ABC ran Australia Network under a $223 million, 10-year contract for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Speaking at a public forum at Chatham House in London, Ms Bishop said her Department was looking at alternatives to the broadcaster for promoting Australia in the Asia Pacific region.
My question is whether under a soft power diplomacy contract... is that the best use of taxpayers money to project a positive image into the region?
The minister said the conflicts between ABC news programming and the network's priorities had been evident in the presentation of asylum seeker stories and the publication of leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowdon.
On 13 May 2014, Katherine Viner of The Guardian Newspaper reported, in Budget news, that:
The government is to pay $10.6m to the ABC for breaking its contract to produce the Australia Network. The contract’s cancellation will save the government $196.8m.
The Australia Network, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is a television channel designed to promote a positive view of Australia in the Asia-Pacific. The closure of the network had all but been confirmed last week.
Since May 2014, Australia has had to rely on Radio Australia for internationally-oriented programs directed towards the Pacific and to Asia. As a result, our ability to engage in “soft diplomacy” in our region has been greatly diminished.
Since coming into Government after the election on 21 May 2022, we have been looking for the restoration of the ABC’s funding which was so severely cut during the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison years – to the tune of at least $460 million.
ABC Friends Victoria is determined to pursue these issues in the lead-up to the next Federal Budget – in May 2023. We want:
- The ABC’s Budget Cycle increased from 3 – 5 years, thus making cuts to the ABC Budget a little more difficult.
- At least partial restoration of the ABC’s Budget allocations, which were serially cut by the previous Liberal governments from May 2014
- Restoration of the ABC’s role in promoting Australian values to Asia and the Pacific through an organisation like the Australia Network
Do you like this page?