The Government has announced it will freeze the ABC’s annual funding indexation for three years from July 2019, costing the organisation $84 million.
@gavmorris: “Let’s be clear… ABC indexation freeze plus direct cuts to abc news funding amounts to over 120 million disinvestment in public broadcasting.”
ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie said freezing the indexation amounted to cutting the broadcaster.
“I am very disappointed and concerned that after the measures we have introduced in recent years to deliver better and more efficient services, the Government has now seen fit to deliver what amounts to a further substantial budget cut,” Ms Guthrie said in a statement distributed to the organisation’s staff.
She said the decision would make it very difficult for the ABC to meet its charter requirements and audience expectations.
Ms Guthrie said the ABC would continue to oppose the decision and “seek every opportunity to reverse the cuts in the coming months before they take effect”.
The budget papers say the freeze is being imposed to ensure the ABC continues to find back-office efficiencies.
But Ms Guthrie said the ABC could not absorb the cuts with extra efficiency measures as the Government proposed.
She rejected the Government’s proposed efficiency review as unnecessary.
Labor’s communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland called the budget a test of the Prime Minister’s commitment to public broadcasting.
She said the ABC cuts meant he had clearly failed the test.