Funding – The Government Keeps the ABC Hanging

The ABC Chairperson, Ita Buttrose, has publicly complained about the fact the federal government is keeping its future funding plans for the ABC a secret.

It’s enough to send chills through any friend of the ABC, with the Liberals apparently keeping their plans for the ABC’s future under wraps until they win another term in government.

Ms. Buttrose expressed her disquiet during an address to the ABC Friends Western Australia Annual General Meeting.

Although the WA AGM was a members-only event conducted online, it appears a journalist from The Australian was watching as well.

In a report, The Australian quoted Ms. Buttrose as saying that the government was going to impose a “new funding formula” on the ABC, but had not revealed the nature of that formula to the ABC.

The Australian said Ita Buttrose continued:

It’s what we are stuck with, and the government is the government.

This year we’ve been told that there’s a new funding formula, and it’s no good us going outside whatever that formula is going to be.

And you know what, we haven’t heard back from them so we don’t have the formula yet.

The ABC’s triennial funding arrangement is due to end on June 30, 2022.

And with the Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, as well as the rest of the government silent on their secret plans for the ABC, there are widespread fears that a publicly unpopular “funding formula” is being hidden from view until after the next election.