The Greens today announce their policy to ensure our public broadcasters are well-funded and independent so they can get on with the job of informing and entertaining all Australians.
“The Liberal Government has waged war on public broadcasting. It is well past time to stop the cuts and start rebuilding. Funding cuts must be reversed, iView and OnDemand should never be placed behind a paywall and SBS should not have to rely on advertising to keep the lights on,” Greens media and arts spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“The ABC has long been Australia’s most trusted news source. Our beloved public broadcasters have a duty, above all else, to inform the public, hold politicians and governments to account, and assist in times of natural disasters.
“The ABC and SBS have been expected to do more with less year after year. This is unfair, forcing decisions about job and programming cuts, it is an injustice to the public our broadcasters serve.
“The Greens value the role the ABC plays in our communities. We will restore more than $330 million in Liberal funding cuts and lock in funding in legislation so the ABC is no longer used as a Government punching bag, no matter who is in the Lodge.
“The ABC has been highly politicised from pot-shots at stories the Government doesn’t like, to the question marks over the board appointment process. The Greens’ plan would ensure the board is filled with independent candidates who understand journalism and content creation, and have service to the public at the fore.
“The SBS plays a vital role in bringing the rich multicultural fabric of our society together, but for too long they have had to compete with commercial broadcasting for advertising revenue to help provide this valuable service. The Greens will commit $130 million over three years to assist the phase-out of in-program advertising so the SBS does not have to sell out to keep the lights on.
“The commercial broadcasters have been agitating for a paywall on SBS OnDemand and ABC iView, but no Australian taxpayer should be forced to pay twice for these services. They are funded by the public and owned by the public, and the Greens will legislate that they will remain open to the public.
“A strong public broadcasting sector brings our communities together through quality programming that is truly reflective of modern Australia. The Greens will always stand up and defend our strong, independent public broadcasting so they can do what they do best without undue political and financial pressure.”