By 2022, the total funding cut to the ABC will be over $783 million.
The ABC’s 2019-20 operational revenue from Government of $879 million represents a decrease in real funding of $367 million per annum, or 29.5%, since 1985-86.
It is now operating with the smallest budget since the Howard Government’s extraordinary 2% funding cut in its first budget.
“In 1987, [the] ABC famously cost each Australian eight cents a day.
In 1987 dollar terms we now cost each Australian just four cents a day” – Louise Higgins, ABC’s Chief Financial Officer, 2018.
A thousand jobs have gone since 2014. Many were senior journalists and producers, with centuries’ worth of combined knowledge and experience.
Lateline and state-based versions of 7.30 have been axed. Radio current affairs programming via The World Today and PM has been halved, as has the number of hours of original scripted Australian content.
Specialist programming on Radio National has been cut, and over 100 ABC websites have been shut down. The ABC no longer covers local sport on TV.
Its local production units, other than for news and current affairs, in Adelaide and Perth have been closed, along with five regional local radio newsrooms. The Australia Network was cancelled, and international bureaus in Tokyo, Bangkok, New Delhi and New Zealand have closed or had their operations reduced.
The ABC provides a trusted source of essential news and information, underpins our social cohesion and national identity, and brings us together in times of crisis.
It educates our kids, informs our decisions as participants in our democracy, and provides comfort and entertainment in our homes.