Public 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.