The Community and Public Sector Union is urging the Federal Government to restore ABC funding to an acceptable level so the broadcaster can properly serve the Australian community.
According to the CPSU, lost services from recent Government cuts include a reduction in the number of live recordings by Classic FM and the axing of morning programs on all ABC regional radio stations.
The CPSU, in conjunction with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), has launched a community campaign in support of the current triennial funding negotiations that will determine the ABC’s funding over the next three years.
The campaign urges all Australians to write to their local Member of Parliament demanding that recent cuts to the ABC are reversed and that the broadcaster is properly funded to reflect the values and spirit of Australia to make and provide distinctive local and specialist content in news, current affairs, drama, comedy and music.
CPSU ABC Section Secretary Sinddy Ealy said: “The ABC’s funding has been in decline in real terms for more than 30 years, but that damage has accelerated as the current Government has stripped $254 million in much needed funding.
The Government’s recent cuts have meant the loss of 400 jobs and irreplaceable experience and expertise from the ABC, with at least 100 more positions still on the chopping block.
The ABC has been further stretched providing the digital services that Australians now expect and demand, such as iview. The more popular and successful ABC content is on iview, the more it actually costs the ABC to provide it.
It’s time for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Government to recognise the importance of the ABC to all Australians and start to repair the damage they’ve caused. More funding is needed across the board, but particularly in regional and rural Australia where the ABC plays an even more important role.”
In 2013 outgoing ABC Managing Director Mark Scott revealed the ABC’s funding had declined in real terms by 23% since 1985, as successive funding agreements have not kept pace with inflation.