ABC is Australia’s national public broadcaster. Affectionately referred to as ‘Aunty’, ABC is funded by the government and remains a key source of radio, television, online and mobile services regionally and nationally

ABCThe ABC has been Australia’s main publicly funded national broadcaster since 1932. Until 1974 it was funded by licence fee, which ended due to the expense of collecting it from a relatively small population spread over such a large country, and the argument that direct funding was fairer as TV and radio access had become nearly universal. Since then the ABC has been funded from central government, the amount being renegotiated annually. This structure sets it apart from many of its PSB counterparts around the world, such as the BBC.

In 2012, the ABC hosted our general conference about the role of broadcasting in times of disaster and emergency, just months after a series of devastating floods in the states of Queensland and Victoria. The national broadcaster was a key source of information during the crisis, particularly with its integration of mobile and radio resources with emergency services.

The broadcaster operates one international radio network, four national radio networks – including Triple J which focuses on independent and local music aimed at 18-35 year-olds, 55 local radio stations and several digital radio services. There are four TV channels.

The ABC is an important international broadcaster in the Asia-Pacific region, but in recent years its foreign services have borne the brunt of budget cuts. In 2014 the Australian government announced the reduction of AU$200m from the ABC’s budget over five years, resulting in a loss of ten per cent of its workforce, and inevitably affecting programming across all media, regionally and nationally.

Although wholly government-funded, the ABC’s editorial independence is enshrined in the 1983 Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act. The broadcaster has been a key partner in our work to support public service media since our inception in 1945.

Membership: Full member

Year established: 1932

Digital standard: DVB-T

Web address:

Main funding source: State direct

Ownership: Government of Australia