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Greens celebrate budget win for SBS

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 9 May 2012

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam has thanked the many people who campaigned strongly for improved resourcing for SBS.

"In a tight budget in which many portfolios faced serious cuts, the fortunes of SBS have swum against the tide. No doubt, we could always have hoped for more, and indeed the finances of the station will remain tight for years to come. But the additional commitment of $158 million is the most significant funding boost the SBS has ever had.

"SBS was the first multicultural broadcaster in the world and Australia's success as a multicultural society is owed in part to institutions such as SBS which tell the stories of our cultural diversity and improve understanding in our community.

"In February the Greens rang the alarm bell when it was revealed SBS radio services in fifteen languages had been suspended during the summer break, and renewed our call for greater funding. SBS was not established as a commercial proposition, but to provide vital services to this country's diverse population. Multilingual services are important to people who speak English as a second language, and also to English-speakers learning another language. It provides top quality news and current affairs programs locally produced and from around the world, in addition to showcasing film and television productions from many cultures. All of this was at risk."

"Three months ago the Greens stepped up our campaign to restore SBS to financial health with legislation to phase out the broadcaster's dependence on advertising: the Special Broadcasting Service Amendment (Natural Program Breaks and Disruptive Advertising) Bill 2012. In 2007, due to financial pressures the station moved to full in‐program advertising. This has degraded the SBS viewing experience and has seen successive governments try to get away with the structural under‐funding of the station."

"We welcome the first major step in that direction," said Senator Ludlam.



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