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Why no government guarantee of funding beyond 2022?

A Federal Government minister has used Senate Estimates hearings to say the government will wait until after the next election to announce plans for ABC funding beyond 2022.

Victorian Liberal Senator, and Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services, and the Digital Economy, Jane Hume, told a hearing that the government would not release any details of its plans.

Senator Hume was answering questions from The Greens South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who said:

Do you really want to be facing an election, minister, without a commitment to the Australian people that you are going to fund the ABC properly?

Senator Hume responded:

I think we’ll make an announcement about that in the budget of 2022.

It is widely believed the next federal election will be well before the 2022 budget.

Watch a video of the exchange:

ABC Managing Director David Anderson also fronted the hearings, outlining how the ABC had signed an agreement with Google and Facebook under the government’s new bargaining code.

READ DAVID ANDERSON’S OPENING STATEMENT

He said any income derived from the new deals would be spent on regional coverage.

Mr. Anderson said:

When these commercial deals are concluded, they will enable the ABC to make new and significant investments in regional services.

These investments will provide a huge boost to the regions at a time when many areas of regional and rural Australia have experienced a withdrawal of media services.

READ A GUARDIAN REPORT ABOUT THE DEAL