Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam says the massive restructure to the ABC announced today by Mark Scott proves once and for all that the Abbott government simply cannot expect to cut $327 million from the broadcaster's budget and 400 jobs from its headcount and expect to avoid drastic changes to the ABC's capabilities.
"Only last week, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed again that the Abbott government's extensive budget cuts to the ABC could take place without significant changes to the ABC's programming, with the cuts to only affect ‘operational efficiencies'," said Senator Ludlam.
"This morning Scott revealed how absurd Turnbull's comments were. The cuts will result in some 400 ABC staff losing their jobs, the broadcaster's Adelaide television production studio being shut down, the ABC's sports coverage being drastically watered down, the state-based versions of the 7:30 current affairs program being dumped, and the ABC's foreign bureaux being gutted.
"The Abbott government and the Murdoch media empire which continues to support it has absolutely no interest in strong public broadcasters such as the ABC and SBS continuing to serve the Australian public with the quality content they have earned a reputation for over many decades.
"The Government is attempting to weaken the ABC and SBS from the inside, through the first tranche in what will no doubt become an ongoing series of annual cuts to the broadcasters.
"The cuts also reveal the deep moral bankruptcy of this government. Turnbull's farcical attempt last week to explain away Abbott's "no cuts to the ABC or SBS" election commitment reveals a deep contempt for the intelligence of the Australian public.
"The Australian Greens will fight to see this funding restored to the ABC and SBS and to ensure that these two highly trusted and respected institutions continue to receive the funding that they need," said Senator Ludlam.