Labor promises more ABC funding if it wins election

Labor leader Bill Shorten has promised a $13 million boost the ABC’s regional and emergency broadcasting service along with committing to restore the national broadcaster’s funding should the ALP win this year’s federal election.

Shorten’s commitment, made in his budget reply speech, follows the government allocating $43.7m in funding for news and regional affairs announced earlier this week.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten reiterated his promise to reverse ABC budget cuts should the ALP win government

Along with the reversal of the current government’s cuts announced in last year’s budget, the opposition also promised to guarantee of stable funding over the next ABC budget cycle.

Shorten also announced a $3m news literacy program to fight misinformation through a range of programs and initiatives for teachers and students to hone their news consumptions skills.

“The ABC provides vital local news services. In fact, 17 million Australians consume some form of ABC content every week – it is part of our national fabric,” the opposition said in a statement.

“Since 2013, the Liberals have cut $366 million from the ABC, which has seen 800 staff forced to walk out the door, the shutdown of shortwave radio and a reduction in Australian content.

“On top of these devastating cuts, the Liberals repealed the two out of three cross-media control rule, waving through further consolidation of media in Australia’s already highly concentrated media market, including in regional areas.

“In this environment, the ABC has an even greater responsibility to support the delivery of local and regional news, information gathering and emergency broadcasting.”

Yesterday’s sitting of federal parliament was probably the last before an election is called for late May.


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