MEDIA RELEASE - ABC CUTS LOCKED IN BY MORRISON’S BUDGET - 3 APRIL 2019

Joint with Stephen Jones MP, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications.

After six years of Liberal lies, cuts and chaos, Morrison has locked in his future ABC cuts, depriving the national broadcaster of $83.7 million over the next three years.

While the ABC's Enhanced Newsgathering funding will continue, as called for by Labor, the ABC still faces Morrison’s unfair cut announced in last year’s budget.

Six weeks out from an election, Scott Morrison has delivered an election con with the same cuts to the ABC.
The ABC has confirmed these cuts threaten its Charter delivery and cannot be absorbed by efficiency measures alone.
 
The Government commissioned a meddlesome Efficiency Review into the ABC, its second since 2014, to “assist the public broadcasters as they approach the next funding triennium”, but has not released the report.
 
The question remains: What ABC jobs and services stand to be cut?
 
Past casualties of Liberal budget cuts include the ABC’s Shortwave Radio service.
 
Matching Labor’s $2 million commitment to restore Shortwave should have been a no-brainer – however the needs of those in regional Australia have again been ignored by this out of touch Government.
 
The Liberals and Nationals came to government on the promise of no cuts to the ABC. That was a lie.
 
Now they go into the next election with yet more ABC cuts to fall.
 
In contrast, Bill Shorten and Labor have committed to restoring Morrison’s unfair cut of $83.7 million, have guaranteed stable funding over the next budget cycle and have committed to switching Shortwave back on, to ensure towns, communities and travellers are connected to the rest of the nation.
 
The difference is clear. Australians can have a strong and independent ABC, or a Liberal Government. They cannot have both.