‘There Are No Cuts to ABC’: PM Scott Morrison

By AAP
June 25, 2020 Updated: June 25, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has argued there have been no cuts to the ABC’s funding after the national broadcaster announced 250 job losses.

The ABC unveiled the cuts on June 24, with the 7.45am radio news bulletin to be scrapped as up to 70 news division jobs disappear.

Morrison said the ABC’s overall funding was increasing each year.

“There are no cuts,” he told reporters in Sydney on June 25.

ABC managing director David Anderson said on Wednesday that operational funding would be more than 10 percent lower in 2021/22 than it was in 2013.

The overall amount the corporation receives from government will rise from $1.062 billion in 2019/20 to $1.071 billion in 2021/22.

But an indexation freeze in funding is set to cost the ABC $84 million over those three years.

After the freeze was announced in 2018, the organisation’s then managing director Michelle Guthrie said the ABC had suffered $254 million in cuts since 2014.

The prime minister said journalists at the ABC had it better than colleagues in private outlets which have faced job losses as advertising revenues dry up.

“I’ve got to say if you’re working in the media industry today, if you’re a journalist today, the safest place for you to be is actually at the ABC because your revenue is guaranteed in that industry by the government,” he said.

“For journalists working in so many other media companies, they are doing it really tough.”

Morrison also backed a push to have 75 percent of content-makers located outside of the Ultimo headquarters in Sydney by 2025.

“We’re trying to get the ABC out of Ultimo and into the rest of the country so I think that’s a good change,” he said.

Labor is pinning the job losses on the Morrison government.

Matt Coughlan