Campaigns are at the heart of our work as ABC Alumni
ABC Alumni actively engages in a range of campaigns to support the ABC and the values of independent public broadcasting.
Our past campaigns have included issues such as media freedom, competitive neutrality, political interference in the ABC, and the public broadcaster’s value as the Voice of Australia in Asia and the Pacific.
Currently we are turning our attention to the 2022 federal election. While the Alumni does not endorse any specific candidate in an electorate, we are keen to promote debate around the importance of the ABC and threats to it.
Our message is ‘Vote for the ABC’ – in other words, vote for any candidate (whether party-aligned or independent) who demonstrates a genuine commitment to proper funding for the ABC and protecting its independence.
ELECTION 2022 CAMPAIGN
WHY THE ABC IS AN IMPORTANT ELECTION ISSUE
Millions of Australians are passionate about our ABC. Recent polling shows majority public support for a well-funded, independent national broadcaster.
Through the fires, floods and extreme cyclones of climate change and through the pandemic over the last two years, there is always one friend you can rely on – your ABC.
The ABC is widely acknowledged as Australia’s most reliable and trusted news source. As well as its radio and television services, it has achieved industry leadership in the digital revolution, with audience engagement now strongly established with younger Australians as well as its traditional older audiences.
Whenever there’s a life-threatening emergency or an important national event, the ABC is there for everyone. Everyone.
But your ABC is under threat from formidably powerful vested interests that want to privatise or even abolish the national broadcaster. It is of great concern that, while the Coalition Government claims to support the public broadcasters, it remains Liberal Party policy (since 2018) to privatise the ABC.
And Ministers have sought time and again to interfere in decisions which ought to be the province of the ABC Board and its management team.
The ABC needs your support now more than ever.
The Morrison government has recently announced an ‘increase’ in the ABC’s budget for the next 3 years. In fact, after a three-year freeze, it has simply resumed indexing the ABC’s budget to compensate for inflation: but there’s been no compensation for the estimated $84 million lost in the meantime. There has been no other significant increase.
Since 2014, more than half a billion dollars has been cut from the ABC’s budget, resulting in the loss of a thousand jobs. ABC International has been defunded to the tune of a further $200 million since 2014.
That’s a total of more than $700m stripped from the ABC in the last eight years.
A properly funded ABC could do so much more, including:
- further enhance a sense of national cohesion, culture and identity through more original Australian drama, comedy, music, sport, documentary, children’s, education, entertainment and arts programs
- improve its ability to deliver nationwide emergency broadcasts during increasingly severe events: bushfires, floods, heat waves and even civil unrest
- restore state-based television current affairs, at least weekly, so that state governments which have assumed unprecedented power over our lives during the pandemic can be held to account
- at a time of geopolitical complexity and insecurity, re-engage to at least previous levels with our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region
ABC ALUMNI POLICY
We support any candidate who will commit, if elected, to supporting legislative or budgetary measures to:
- Guarantee that ABC services will remain independent of government, free-to-air and free-to-access, and publicly funded from consolidated revenue.
- Improve funding certainty and the ABC’s ability to plan ahead, by introducing five-year funding agreements, indexed annually to compensate for inflation.
- To enable the ABC to fulfil its charter obligations, including the provision of comprehensive rural and regional services, progressively restore the ABC’s operational budget to the level of funding it received before budget cuts imposed in 2014.
- Insist that all ABC Board appointments are advertised widely and made from a short-list selected on merit by an independent non-partisan nominations panel, as laid down in the ABC Act.
- Restore and enhance funding for ABC International, so that it can fully resume its vital role as Australia’s trusted voice in the Asia-Pacific.
- Ensure that good quality ABC radio and television broadcasts can be received throughout rural and regional Australia.
VOTE FOR THE ABC
Please consider voting only for candidates who expressly agree to support these important policy positions.
BEWARE OF MISINFORMATION
We are also concerned that a great deal of misinformation has been published in certain sectors of the media, on social media and by organisations with a vested interest to damage or destroy the national broadcaster. For accurate information, click here for our ‘ABC Alumni Facts & Talking Points’ document.
GET INVOLVED IN OUR CAMPAIGN
If you would like to get involved in our campaign to help ensure a strong future for the ABC, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alumni provides high profile speakers for events run by any organisation requesting our participation. We will outline our position on the ABC and answer questions, however we do not endorse other organisations, political parties or specific candidates. The Alumni has no affiliation or partnership with any lobby group or other organisation, aside from a working relationship from time-to-time with ABC Friends.