Labor pledges support for ABC

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged to restore the $83m that the Turnbull govt has effectively cut from ABC if Labor wins the next election.

The promise positions the broadcaster’s future as a national election issue.

The May budget announced the government was freezing ABC’s annual funding indexation for three years from July 2019, costing the organisation $83.7 million, which managing director Michelle Guthrie warned would hit the broadcaster hard.

On Monday Bill Shorten announced Labor would reverse the ‘funding cuts.’

“This year alone, this out of touch government has cut $83.7 million in ABC funding, launched two damaging public broadcasting inquiries and has three bills before parliament to meddle with the ABC Charter,” he said.

“At a time when too many Australians feel disengaged from their democracy and distrustful of their representatives, Labor wants to restore trust and faith in our institutions.

“Part of restoring trust is supporting a healthy public interest media sector, and protecting that trusted institution – the ABC.”

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, who has made six complaints about the ABC this year told ABC radio last week the broadcaster was still well resourced.

“Our absolute guarantee and commitment is that the ABC will always be well-resourced to do its important work.”

Shorten also appeared last night on Q&A as the show’s sole guest.

Source: SBS


  1. Harshreality

    Typical careless ALP pork barrelling to win over Greens supporters. No conditions just throw cash around.

    As many Australians would rightfully question where would this proposed $83 million be spent? More commercial advertising, staff bonuses or propping up the huge and often underutilized radio network.

    It is a pity that all major Australian political parties are gutless on pushing ABC reform as it would deliver better value and change the culture of the often biased and definitely bloated organization in the internet/music/video streaming era.

  2. It is very important that there is bipartisan support for the ABC. The service they provide is excellent across the different platforms, such as television, radio and internet. They have made production decisions and implemented ideas from people, like myself, who are members of the public and are not on their payroll. It vindicates that it is actually our ABC. The Liberals/Nationals have made complaints and have had grievances regarding their news and current affairs programming, especially in regards to political bias. The ABC should take steps to rectify these grievances so as to not give incentives for the government to withdraw funding and resources. Strong left-wing bias is noticeable in some programming, such as Tonightly With Tom Ballard and Q and A, especially in regards to the perceived political allegiances of the audience based upon audience reactions and the selection of…

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