MEDIA RELEASE - LABOR WILL REVERSE TURNBULL’S UNFAIR CUTS TO THE ABC - 11 JUNE 2018

With The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition and Stephen Jones MP, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications. 

A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Turnbull’s $83.7 million unfair cut to the ABC, as well as guarantee funding certainty over the next ABC budget cycle. This will ensure our public broadcaster can meet its Charter requirements, safeguard jobs at the ABC, adapt to the digital media environment and maintain content and services that Australians trust and rely on.

The Liberal/National Coalition have launched the biggest attack on the independence of the ABC in a generation. Since 2014, they have overseen $282 million in cuts to the ABC that has seen 800 jobs lost and a drop in Australian content and services. This is despite the Liberals’ election promise of “no cuts to the ABC”.

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.

Enough is enough. 17 million Australians consume some form of ABC content every week. In regional Australia in particular, the ABC plays a vital role in keeping regional communities connected with local news and emergency information.

From Playschool to Bananas in Pyjamas, from cricket to the Hottest 100 Countdown, to getting critical warning messages out about floods and fire – the ABC is a part of our national fabric.  

That’s why Labor will stand up for the ABC and fight against the conservatives ideological war against our public broadcaster. Only Labor will reverse Turnbull’s $83.7 million of cuts and guarantee funding certainty over the next ABC budget cycle.

This investment demonstrates Labor’s commitment to the ABC’s independence and to maintain the ABC as our comprehensive national broadcaster.

Now, more than ever, Australians need the ABC – our strong, trusted and independent public broadcaster.

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.

Labor can protect our public broadcaster because unlike Malcolm Turnbull and his out of touch Liberals, we won’t be giving an $80 billion tax handout to big banks and multinationals.