Here's What ABC Boss Mark Scott Has To Say About $120 Million In Budget Cuts

ABC Managing director, Mark Scott

Should a pre-election pledge to maintain funding for the ABC be regarded as a broken promise from the Coalition Government?

Joe Hockey’s Budget is seeking a 1% “efficiency dividend” from the ABC and SBS, delivering a saving of nearly $40 million. As suspected, the Government is killing off the “soft diplomacy” of the Australia Network, worth $220 million to the national broadcaster, just one year into the 10-year contract with DFAT.

Funding for the online disability website, ABC Ramp Up, will cease on June 30.

“The government gave repeated commitments before and after the election that funding for the Corporation would be maintained,” he said. “The funding cuts will be disappointing for audiences.”

Mr Scott reserved his strongest comments for the government’s about face on overseas services.

“This decision cannot be justified in terms of performance against agreed priorities.

“Countries around the world are expanding their international broadcasting services as key instruments of public diplomacy,” he said. “This decision runs counter to the approach adopted by the vast majority of G-20 countries.”

“It sends a strange message to the region that the government does not want to use the most powerful communication tools available to it to talk to our regional neighbours about Australia.”

Mr Scott added a warning that the ABC is likely to face further cuts in the wake of the Lewis report into the organisation.

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