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Communications Minister looking for a quick fix with election in sight

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 7 Feb 2022

With the federal election just months away, the Morrison Government has tried to find a quick fix for the ongoing issue of ABC funding by ending the indexation pause.

Greens Arts and Communications Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

"While the end to the funding freeze is welcomed, this short-term fix cannot undo the eight years of cuts and attacks on our national broadcaster. 

"When Australians go to the polls in just a couple of months time, they will remember that this is a government that has not only slashed $526 million from our ABC but that has time and time again attacked the ABC's independence.

"The only way to provide true funding certainty for the ABC is to secure its funding in legislation so it cannot be used as the plaything of governments at election time. 

The Minister has also announced the long awaited decision on Australian content quotas for online streaming services.

Greens Arts and Communications Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

"What a disappointment for the Australian screen sector. After a drawn out consultation process, the Minister has announced a measly 5 per cent local content quota for streaming services with no genre subcategories. 

"Massive global corporations like Netflix and Disney are making hundreds of millions from Australian subscribers but under this proposal it's possible that the streamers will be required to produce even less Australian content than they already do now.

"A 5 per cent quota will do nothing to provide certainty or grow the number of local jobs in the Australian screen industry.

"This announcement will hit local children's television the hardest. We know how important seeing content that reflects their own communities and lives is for young children and their development. The children's television sector has been struggling since the changes brought in for free to air broadcasters and this latest announcement is more salt in the wounds.

"Australian audiences deserve to see Australian content on their screens. A 20 per cent local content quota is in line with international examples and would ensure that Australians see ourselves and our stories reflected on our screens."

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