Turnbull wields Abbott’s axe at the ABC

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has suffered another cut at the hands of Malcolm Turnbull. This time, Mr Turnbull can’t blame Tony Abbott.

In a Budget that is Liberal to its core, the ABC will be savagely cut again to go with the more than $250 million cuts suffered in the horror 2014 Budget.

The Liberals say the budget is a plan for jobs and growth – but at the ABC, it is a plan to cut jobs and stifle growth.

On the night before the 2013 Federal Election, the then Prime Minister promised:

“No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

Mr Turnbull then oversaw more than $250 million in brutal cuts. Tonight, his Liberal Government has doubled down and cut another $48.6 million from the public broadcaster.

These cuts will result in job cuts at the ABC and programs will be affected across the country including in regional Australia.

In Government, Labor funded the ABC to the tune of $20 million per year for its Enhanced Newsgathering Program. This initiative boosted state-based online news sites, provided specialist reporters and regional video journalists in places like Geelong, Parramatta and Ipswich.

Funding for the Enhanced Newsgathering Program has been slashed by $18.6 million over the next three years, leaving these jobs and programs in limbo.

Labor also created a $30 million Digital Content delivery program to improve the experience of Australians who enjoy the ABC’s industry leading catch-up television service, iView. This program has been abandoned.

Fiona Nash and Barnaby Joyce have been grandstanding about the role of the ABC in the bush for two and half years. Tonight, the Government they are a part of slashed the funding the ABC dedicates to regional services. Another example of a Government that says one thing and does another.

The difference between Labor and Liberal could not be more stark tonight – we’ll put people first, whilst the Liberals will cut our public broadcasters and put big business ahead of Australian families.