The Australian Government recognises the importance of the ABC. It provides innovative and comprehensive broadcasting services which contribute to a sense of national identity, inform and entertain audiences, and reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community.
The ABC does an excellent job transmitting emergency information to Australian communities, as we have seen during the current bushfire season. We know many Australians, particularly in regional Australia, turn to their local ABC radio for up-to-date and vital information.
In my electorate of Gippsland, our local ABC Radio team did an exceptional job to advise residents and visitors of impending fire threats throughout summer. The ability for locals to call in with up to date information assisted residents to make good decisions and keep their families safe.
We have benefited locally from an investment in new equipment and improved studio facilities which has allowed our Gippsland news team to tell the stories of our region to a broader audience.
The government is providing the ABC with over $3.2 billion in the current three year funding period. This is a substantial investment of public funds in our national broadcaster to enable it to provide television, radio and digital media services in line with its Charter.
In the last budget the government provided the ABC with an additional $43.7 million over three years for the ABC to continue the Enhanced News Gathering measure, which supports an investment in local news and current affairs, regional newsrooms and specialist investigative journalists.
The content and operational independence of the ABC is enshrined in legislation. Parliament has guaranteed this independence so that the ABC’s decisions are free of political interference. Under this arrangement, how the ABC spends the money allocated to it is a matter for the ABC Board and Executive.
The government understands how much Australians value the ABC. We are committed to a strong and resilient ABC, operating efficiently and delivering the best possible outcomes with the substantial funding it receives.