2023 Federal Budget response – ABC Welcomes Five-Year Funding

9th May 2023
The ABC responds to the first of the new five-year funding cycle, which provides “financial stability and allows the ABC to continue delivering on its charter”.
ABC Headquarters
Sydney, Australia - October 18, 2014: The ABC Ultimo Centre, the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This press release was originally published on ABC.

The ABC welcomes the funding certainty delivered in the 2023 Federal Budget, the first of the new five-year funding cycle. In a rapidly changing media environment, the budget provides financial stability and allows the ABC to continue delivering on its charter, serving Australian audiences across the country and in our region.

It is particularly important that the Government has decided to incorporate the Enhanced Newsgathering (ENG) program into the ABC’s ongoing operational funding base. The ENG program, which supports around 70 journalists and content makers, delivers more tailored news to local communities and has allowed the ABC to invest further in specialist resources that provide vital context and analysis. The program has been operating since 2012-13 as a terminating measure and has been renewed three times.

Ongoing funding for audio description (AD) services has also been rolled into the ABC’s base funding.  The ABC’s commitment to audio description services has been vital for blind or visually impaired audiences. In the last financial year, the ABC broadcast 1260 hours of unique audio-description content including many premiere events or first-possible releases, across broadcast multi-channels. The funding allocation means AD services will be extended to ABC iview.

Read more: RNZ Welcomes Funding Announcement

The ABC also welcomes the additional investment into the distribution of Australian content throughout the region as part of the Indo Pacific Broadcasting Strategy.

This funding will enable the ABC to increase the return on investment in Pacific focused content which it is already creating under the 2022 funding envelope of the Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy. A significant component of the funding announced in this budget will be directed towards further expansion of the FM footprint of ABC Radio Australia.

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Our research shows that FM radio transmission is the most cost-effective medium with the highest potential to reach audiences in the region.  The ABC is already achieving substantial success with new content under increased Government funding including the flagship pan-Pacific news program for TV and video on demand The Pacific.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said: “The five-year budget allocation reflects the ABC’s important role in Australian life and the value it delivers to the community.

“The funding provides a solid foundation as the ABC continues to evolve its services to meet the needs of Australian audiences. The next five years will be crucial to the ABC as we navigate significant changes in media consumption, industry-wide cost pressures and increasing requirements to modernise and adapt to new technology.

“The funding certainty provided by the Budget is vital, as it enables the ABC to plan with confidence. Notwithstanding the five-year funding outcome, the ABC will need to meet the challenge of upward cost pressure, and position itself to continue to be trusted, relevant and valued by all Australians into the future.

“I will soon announce a new Five-Year Plan setting out the ABC’s priorities. The plan will ensure that we embrace the opportunities of the future, and that the ABC remains the most important cultural institution for all Australians.”