Democracy under threat as Government cuts another $84M from the ABC and 250 lose their jobs.

Democracy under threat as Government cuts another $84M from the ABC and 250 lose their jobs.

Another 250 employees gone from the ABC!

At the peak of COVID-19 we are continuing to lose the best and brightest of our journalists. This follows on from the extraordinary task the ABC managed as bushfires raged in so many different part of Australia, following on from coverage of drought-affected Australia and now COVID-19 that has and is affecting every Australian.

Who did regional and country people listen to each and every day during the bushfire crisis, and who was there for them every step of the way – the ABC?

This latest slash to the ABC budget once again signifies to the Australian community how little the Liberal National government of Australia values its public broadcaster. The indexation freeze in 2018 reduced the ABC budget by $84M over three years and will result in an ongoing reduction of $41M per annum from 2022.

In the latest Digital News Report 2020 the data indicated clearly the ABC is the media outlet Australians trust the most.

With the loss of jobs, both independent screen productions and news are being reduced significantly in this next five-year plan.

Since 2014 the ABC has essentially lost$783M in funding, while Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher, has tried to convince us that funding cuts are not real, and that the ABC is sustainable without service reductions for Australians, and has actually suggested that the ABC has received ‘increased funding’. These comments are not consistent with data produced last year based on the government’s own annual budget statement and the reality of the situation the ABC faces today.

When we lose journalists, and newspapers are closing all over the country, there has never been a more important time to increase the strength of independent and trusted news in depth that is not on-line. We need those quality journalists, that storytelling, the frontline stories of the day more than ever.

There is now a group in Bendigo called ‘Friends of the ABC’ who are fighting to support and retain the ABC. Join them if you are interested in keeping the ABC as part of our media in Australia.

Without an independent media outlet our very democracy is under threat every day!

Annie Young

28/06/2020

This article has been prepared by WR Law. The information provided should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should speak with Rosa Raco directly about your specific circumstances via email rraco@wrlaw.com.au or phone 03 54996131