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Threats to funding of the ABC and SBS

During the 2013 Federal election campaign Tony Abbott made an unequivocal commitment to voters not to cut a number of federally-funded services. This commitment included no cuts in funding to the national broadcaster the ABC as well as no cuts to SBS. If such funding cuts were to be announced in the up-coming federal budget this would clearly and unarguably be a breach of Mr Abbott’s pre-election commitment.
All Australian voters should be alarmed about not only this blatant breach of faith but be particularly alarmed about the cuts to services that would inevitably flow from any funding cuts to either of these broadcasters. Even if the ABC and SBS are spared from funding cuts in the up-coming federal budget, there is still a very real threat that funding cuts could occur later in the guise of ‘efficiency adjustments’ when the results of the Federal government’s so-called efficiency review of these two organisations are known.
In terms of the ABC, numerous studies including ones conducted overseas clearly indicate that this broadcaster already works in a very efficient and cost-effective manner, providing real value for money to Australian taxpayers. Over time but particularly in recent months there has been considerable criticism that the ABC has a political bias to the left, however reviews have indicated that if anything there has been a very slight bias to the right. SBS, Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, is unique in the world, a service that is so important particularly in an increasingly multicultural country such as Australia.
I believe that all Australians, regardless of their political persuasion, should be standing firm and united against any future funding cuts to the ABC and SBS, two of the most important cultural organisations that exist in Australia today. Let your local Federal MP know that you don’t support cuts to either of these organisations. Don’t wait until it is too late and the carnage is done.
Susan Lamont, Springwood