Archive for August, 2010

FABC Election Report 2010

the ABC
2010 Election Report
Key issues: Independence – Funding International Broadcasting
from political & commercial influence
Friends of the ABC’s election report is a summary assessment of the results of its election questionnaire.


. Targeted funding undermines the ABC’s independence. It is important that all operational funding be provided as part of the ABC’s base triennial funding to promote the ABC’s arms-length operation from government.

. The position of staff-elected director on the ABC Board, abolished by the last Coalition Government, is an important counter to governments that stack the Board and ensures at least one member of the board with public broadcasting experience.

. The last Coalition Government put Australia’s international television service, established by the ABC, out to tender. The contract expires next year and powerful commercial media interests are lobbying to take the service away from the ABC.

  • support increased base triennial funding (to rebuild the ABC and to enable it to introduce new services, such as an education channel) and indexation that ensures funding is maintained in real terms
  • propose a per capita funding model to protect ABC funding from political vagaries
  • support the introduction of a transparent, merit-based selection process for ABC Board appointments, and restoration of the staff-elected position on the ABC Board
  • support the current prohibition on advertising and sponsorship on radio and TV being extended to online
  • support Australia’s publicly-funded international television service remaining with the ABC
  • support the ABC maintaining a strong in-house production capacity
Labor Government Labor only provided to FABC its record in government. The Labor Government:

  • increased base triennial funding. Extra funding was for new initiatives only (i.e., not to rebuild the ABC), with the exception of funds for local tv drama – now entirely outsourced
  • practised a merit-based ABC Board appointment system
    The legislation the Government introduced to embed the system and restore the staff-elected position to the Board lapses as a result of the election.
  • has not extended to online services the prohibition on advertising and sponsorship on radio and TV
  • has not announced whether or not it will put the ABC’s international television service out to tender
Liberal-National Coalition
  • promised only not to cut ABC funding already committed, i.e. until 2012; and no commitment beyond that time that funding would not be targeted to specific area
  • supports the introduction of a new transparent and merit-based ABC Board appointments system, but with qualifications
  • would not restore the staff-elected position on the ABC Board
  • would maintain the current prohibition on advertising and sponsorship on radio and TV, but not extend the ban to ABC online
  • would again put Australia’s public funded international television service out to tender

Friends of the ABC’s questionnaire, along with replies and an outline of what FABC is seeking is at

Printed & authorised by Glenys Stradijot, Friends of the ABC (Vic) Inc. A0034181A. 208 Bank Street, South Melbourne, Vic 3205. 16Aug10


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