The ABC is facing a 4% cut in funding – around $50 million per year – on top of the $9 million cut in the federal Budget.
The cuts will see nearly $300 million slashed from the national broadcaster’s budget over five years and is likely to will see an end to the state-based 7.30 editions scrapped, reductions to Lateline, South Australian TV production closed and cuts to foreign correspondent bureaux throughout Asia and New Zealand.
Last night on Q and A, communications minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed a 5% reduction in funding, including the 1% budget reduction, and said he will announce the details this week.
“I’ve gone to the considerable pains to ensure that the ABC is well able to deliver these savings without cutting into the resources available for programming,” he said.
He described it as “relatively modest savings” in the ABC’s $1.1 billion annual budget.
“Anyone here who is in business, who has been in business, particularly anyone who has been in the media business, in the private sector, that could not manage to find 5 per cent out of efficiencies is not even trying,” Turnbull said.
The Communications Minister defended Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pre-election pledge that there would be no cuts to the ABC and SBS, saying the cuts were not a broken promise.