Public broadcaster “cuts” drawn into election campaigning

2013-05-07_0119Public broadcasters ABC and SBS are being drawn into the election campaigning with the Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, warning that the Coalition will cut their funding if they win the upcoming election.

“In the OurSay Communications Debate, Mr Turnbull refused to rule out slashing the budgets of the national broadcasters,” Conroy said.

Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, Malcolm Turnbull’s remarked that: ‘Who’s to say, there may be cuts right across the board. If there is some broader austerity of some kind across the board, then all departments may have to bear some of the pain.’

“When it comes to the national broadcasters, the Coalition can’t be trusted,” he said.

“When they were last in Government, the Coalition stripped $55 million per year from the ABC in its first budget.”

Conroy said last year the Government provided SBS with its most significant funding boost ever.

“And in the last triennial funding round in 2009, the Government provided the ABC with the largest increase in its operational base funding since 1983.”

During the online debate at OurSay, Turnbull said, “I am a passionate supporter of the public broadcasters and I support them being given substantial and adequate funding at all times, but I can’t give an undertaking in a budgetary context that is being left in a mess by Labor with this massive deficit.

“Who’s to say, there may be cuts right across the board. If there is a broader austerity of some kind across the board then all departments may have to bear some of the pain.”

David Knox blogs Eurovision for SBS.


  1. AlexD, that would be fine if it wasn’t ideologically driven. But we all know they won’t swing the axe on their beloved Defence.

  2. This is excellent. ABC personalities absolutely loathe good conservative parties including the current federal opposition. The budget needs to be balanced and people are going to have to make sacrifices.

  3. Armchair Analyst

    Unfortunetely i have to agree with Stephen Conroy, personally i dont think he has been a good Communication Minister but thats besides this point. The Coalition (Nationals/Liberals) will cut funding to the most important organisations like the ABC and SBS. They are the only two broadcasters that actually do the public a service and they should considering they are public broadcasters and are funded by the tax payer. The Coalition will no doubt in their haste to pay off the debt and then bring the budget into surplus cut the funding no doubt. This will then put the two extra digital channels in jeopardy ABC News 24 and ABC 3, these two came into being after the Federal Labour Govt. came into power and increased the funding. Also SBS’s NITV and SBS HD or SBS2 may have to go aswell. In my oppinion Conroy should not have given the rebate to the commercial networks but he did poor decision, still does not change the fact that the Coalition will cut funding to everything that is necesary. I am not being alarmist just look at their track record.

  4. bettestreep2008

    Every coalition government always targets the ‘leftwing’ ABC and SBS when in power.

    They don’t want viewers and listeners to get any information other than what the rightwing media News Ltd and Fairfax dish out.

    Andrew Bolt wrote a scathing piece in the Murdoch papers yesterday about how biased ABC was towards the ALP – which was absolutely hilarious given how biased he and the News Ltd media is towards the coalition.

    Eventually our news and current affairs will be wholly owned by the Murdochs, Reinhardts and Palmers because these billionaires want everyone to be brainwashed into thinking ‘their’ way or else.

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