SBS to expand live interpreting of upcoming 2022 Federal Election debates in languages other than English

SBS is continuing to make the 2022 Federal Election more accessible for multicultural communities, today announcing live interpretations of the upcoming Leaders Debates, hosted by Nine and the Seven Network, as well as two additional Ministerial Debates to be held at the National Press Club of Australia.

For the upcoming debates between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, SBS will be providing live interpretations in Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor says, “SBS is extremely pleased that it will again be providing live interpretations of the upcoming election debates. We are expanding the offer to now cover 4 key language communities and are so proud to be fulfilling our Charter in this way.  SBS is uniquely placed to ensure that audiences whose preferred language might not be English can engage fully with our democratic process.

“I would also like to thank Nine, Seven, the ABC and the National Press Club for their willingness to make these feeds available so that SBS can serve these communities.”

In addition to the Leaders Debates, SBS will also be offering translated live streams of two Ministerial debates to be held at the National Press Club of Australia this coming week.

The first debate, dubbed the “2022 Treasury Debate” is between Josh Frydenberg and Dr Jim Chalmers, The Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer of Australia.

Taking place 12.30pm AEST on Wednesday 4 May, the hour-long debate will be live streamed in Arabic and Mandarin on SBS On Demand.

This will be followed with the 2022 Defence Debatet he next day, Thursday 5 May. Taking place at 12.30pm AEST, the debate between Peter Dutton, the Minister for Defence, and Brendan O’Connor, the Shadow Minister for Defence will also be live streamed in Arabic and Mandarin on SBS On Demand.

Both debates will be broadcast live in English on the ABC.

Today’s announcement comes after last month, when, in a first for an Australian television network, SBS provided live Arabic and Mandarin translations of the 2022 Sky News / The Courier-Mail People’s Forum, a debate between Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese.

SBS Director of Audio and Language Content, David Hua, says “As election day nears, communities are keen to hear from a range of candidates and have access to as much information as possible. Through offerings such as live interpreting the debates, the SBS Election Exchange events, and our impartial and balanced election coverage, our goal is to enable and empower communities to engage with the election and to make an informed decision when voting.”

The SBS Election Exchange is also well underway, with SBS’s language services heading into the community and hosting a series of events to speak with local candidates and members of the public in the lead up to the 2022 Federal Election.

Following successful events in in Bankstown, Hobart, Launceston, Dandenong and Broadmeadows, the final three events will take place this week in Wagga Wagga, Eastwood and Ballarat.

SBS’s Federal Election initiatives build on the network’s ongoing commitment to multilingual audiences, including the recent launch of its locally produced TV news services in Arabic and Mandarin, multilingual login, and navigation on SBS On Demand, and the upcoming launch of the SBS World Watch TV channel on 23 May.


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