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Budget win for public broadcasters, communication breakdown for community radio

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 15 May 2013

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam welcomed Budget boosts for public broadcasters ABC and the SBS while condemning the Government's failure to support community radio.

"The Government is refusing to fund the Digital Radio Program (DRP) which means some community broadcasters face closure. It's a relatively tiny amount of money: $1.4 million to keep all our community broadcasters on the air.

"Community radio reaches 4.4 million Australians and is particularly important for delivering local content in remote and regional communities. They deserve a good quality service and we won't give up the fight to make sure they get it.

"We welcome the $129 million funding increase for the ABC - particularly the fact more than half of it will go to more journalists outside the major cities, youth focussed current affairs, and regional programming.

"The additional $30 million for SBS, coming after a great outcome in the 2012/2013 Budget, is also good news. SBS is a vital part of our multicultural society, a strong independent voice, and crucial to media diversity.

"More funding to connect local councils to the NBN and provide training for small businesses and NGOs in regional Australia is an important step, and we also welcome additional funding to assist seniors online.

"With 4.8 million premises to be connected to the NBN by 30 June 2016, it really is time for Messrs Abbott and Turnbull to abandon their partisan fantasy of cutting the NBN down to their half-baked fraudband, and to commit to supporting this vital telecommunications infrastructure."


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