Broadcasters benefit in Federal Budget

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered his first Federal Budget tonight, with benefits for broadcasters in what he called “a solid and sensible Budget” for uncertain times.”


The Government will deliver 5-year funding terms for Australia’s national broadcasters ABC and SBS, commencing 1 July 2023.

“Moving the ABC and SBS beyond 3-year funding terms will better safeguard the independence of the national broadcasters, as well as support long-term strategic planning and innovation in high-quality content provision and service delivery, across Australia,” according to the government.

ABC funding will return to being indexed against inflation, providing $83.7 million to the ABC “to reinstate funding cut by the previous Government from 2019-22.”

The Albanese Government will fund a feasibility study into the expansion of Double J on radio, fund additional Radio Australia transmitters, more youth engagement via triple j and more money to engage innovative creatives to develop content specifically aimed at audiences on popular third-party platforms (see related report).

The Government will also provide $1.0 million over two years from 202223 for a feasibility study into relocating the SBS from Artarmon to Western Sydney.


Community Broadcasting

Australia’s community broadcasting sector will receive an additional $4 million per year of ongoing funding for the Community Broadcasting Program from 2023-24. This takes annual funding for the program to over $20 million per year.

The community broadcasting sector has welcomed the first budget from the Albanese Government, which “has provided much needed funding certainty for community broadcasting with $88 million allocated over the next four years,” according to the CBAA.

CBAA CEO Jon Bisset, says the budget “delivers a pre-election commitment from the Albanese Government to provide funding certainty to over 350 community broadcasters providing over 500 broadcast services around the country.”

Jo Curtin, CEO of the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) says the funding will have “positive impact on sector sustainability and the media landscape.”



$27.7 million additional funding over 5 years for the Australian Communications and Media Authority will support the delivery of:

  • A new spectrum management system, to manage more than 160,000 licences held across Australia; and
  • An ongoing auction capability, to auction high-value spectrum licences and secure the best outcomes for the Australian economy.

Almost all of Australia’s publicly funded media orgaisations and regulators in the Communications Portfolio will receive some increase to their core operating budgets compared with last year’s budget, as well as additional special project funding.

Local News Media

Budget support includes:

  • 208 newspaper publishers across the country received a lifeline with the $15 million Regional and Local Newspaper Publishers Program (RLNP);
  • The Government has also committed $4 million towards the development of the News Media Assistance Program (News MAP) to inform longer term news media policy interventions.

Media Information Literacy

The Albanese Government will invest $6 million to make online learning tools freely available to schools and keep children safe online. A suite of eLearning tools will be delivered by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation including eSmart Digital Licences for primary and high school students and an eSmart Media Literacy Lab for secondary school students aged 12 to 16 to help support the development of critical thinking skills and online civic engagement.

Mobile coverage

The government will spend $758 million over five years from 2022-23 to improve mobile and broadband coverage in regional areas, including $400 million to roll out mobile base stations.



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