The announcement earlier this week that the Federal Government would cut $254 million from the budget of our national broadcaster, along with $50m from SBS, will have a detrimental impact on local media coverage and a potentially devastating impact on women’s sport, said ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury.
Mr Rattenbury has tabled a motion for debate in the Assembly calling on all members to oppose the cuts and to condemn the Federal Coalition Government for its attack on public broadcasting.
“In response to the cuts, the ABC has announced a range of cut backs. Around 400 jobs will be lost across Australia and at least 8 staff will go from our local ABC,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“It is likely that televising a number of women’s sports will cease, including the W-League and the WNBL.
“This is a betrayal of women’s sport, which has grown vastly in the past few decades. Many of the teams now have a considerable supporter base and substantial sponsorship deals.
“With no TV coverage, teams could struggle to attract the same level of sponsorship. This could lead to a devastating impact on the sport as a whole – potentially forcing players to move to better supported competitions overseas and impacting the level of competition here.
“The ACT will lose valuable programs such as 7:30 ACT, which provides coverage of local issues, local political scrutiny, and the production of local content that is important to Canberra residents.
“In this age of commercial journalism, the need for impartial and unbiased media has never been greater.
“These cuts are an attack on public broadcasting, an attack on independent, quality journalism, and an attack on democratic principles. They also represent the clearest example in the litany of broken promises we have seen from Tony Abbott,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.
(Shane Rattenbury Media Release)