Managing Director Mark Scott told a Senate Estimates committee today ABC journalists will be offered voluntary redundancy in the coming weeks, following the early cancellation of the Australia Network contract.
“The Australia Network impact will have an impact on news that can be seen locally but will not have direct impact on news created in Australia,” he said.
“We will lose some reporting positions in foreign bureaus on the back of the Australia Network decision … there will be reduction in news teams on back of that.”
Voluntary redundancies will be offered in the Melbourne newsroom, which is partially funded with Australia Network monies.
Scott said his priority was to not cut programming, including Australian drama, but he could not guarantee any programs or services could be spared until he knows what future budget cuts the government is considering.
“We have found $40m of efficiencies, we will seek to find more, but sooner or later you reach the end of the efficiency run and the easiest levers to pull in budget cuts are programming cuts, and to cut a drama series and save millions of dollars with one decision is the easiest decision to make,” he said.
The Federal Budget earlier this month noted that cuts were a “down payment on the ABC and SBS Efficiency Study.”