MEDIA RELEASE - ABC CUTS AFFECT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY - SATURDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2016

MICHELLE ROWLAND
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
SENATOR CAROL BROWN
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISABILITY AND CARERS
LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
ABC CUTS AFFECT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY

The Turnbull Government must intervene to reverse cuts to the ABC’s transcription service which will affect thousands of Australians with disability.

The Disability Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, is reported in the Guardian Australia today as saying the decision was bad from a human rights perspective and prevented the ABC from being accessible to all Australians.

“This highlights the effect of the disastrous funding cuts by the Abbott and Turnbull Governments to the ABC," Ms Rowland said.

“These cuts were a broken promise to the Australian electorate and that should not be lost on anybody.

“The transcription service is an important service which should not be cut to the bone and the ABC should be accessible to all Australians.”

Senator Brown said people with disability should not suffer because of the savage cuts to the ABC.

“The Government has a duty to ensure that media content is accessible for deaf and hard of hearing Australians who rely on this service.

“The transcription service is vital to allow them to keep in touch with news and current affairs.

“For people who are blind it also allows them to download a transcript and read it through their own software.

“This is another attack on people with disability by a Government who have already cut funding for Deaf Australia and Deafness Forum of Australia, the peak organisations that represent Australians with hearing impairments and still have plans to privatise Australian Hearing.”

Inclusion is at the core of the Australian social compact and Labor will be making urgent representations to the Managing Director of the ABC to have this decision reversed.