Wed, 17 Jun 2020 - 17:03
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Funding for National Broadcasters

The Morrison Government is committed to maintaining the health and vibrancy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The provision of nearly $3.2 billion and $887 million respectively, over the three years from 2019-20, represents a substantial investment of public funds in our national broadcasters and will assist the ABC and SBS in the provision of television, radio and digital media services in line with their Charters.

Our investment in the ABC and SBS is an important underpinning of media diversity and represents a significant contribution to civic journalism in Australia.

The ABC’s funding includes $43.7 million over the three years for the ABC to continue the Enhanced News measure, which supports local news and current affairs, including regional newsrooms and specialist investigative journalists.

Funding for SBS includes advertising revenue of $21.0 million over the three years, reinstated by the Government to replace revenue SBS has been unable to raise after legislation that would have provided advertising flexibility failed to pass the Senate.

Even though the Government provides an overall level of funding to the national broadcasters, the ABC and SBS have content and operational independence. Parliament has guaranteed this independence so that the broadcasters’ decisions are free of political interference. Under this arrangement, the expenditure of ABC and SBS Government funding is a matter for each broadcasters’ boards and executives.