Government announces $308 million funding cut to SBS, ABC

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The federal communications minister has announced that SBS and ABC will lose $308 million in funding over the next five years.

The government will cut $308 million in funding from SBS and the ABC over the next five years, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

In a statement released a short time ago, Mr Turnbull said the cuts "will see the ABC and SBS eliminate inefficiencies in their back office operations ensuring they deliver Australians even better value."

Of the figure, SBS will lose $25.2 million, or 1.7 per cent over a five-year period, and the ABC will lose $254 million, or 4.6 per cent.

The figure is in addition to cuts announced in the May 2104 budget.

Mr Turnbull said the government will introduce legislation to parliament in 2015 to amend the SBS Act 1991 that would allow the broadcaster to change its advertising arrangements.

"A legislative change to allow SBS to generate further revenue by changing its advertising arrangements will bring the total savings returned to the budget to $53.7 million or 3.7 per cent," he said.​

Mr Turnbull sought to downplay the effect of the cuts by affirming the government’s commitment to both broadcasters.

"These efficiencies represent a modest saving in comparison to the Government's continued investment in national broadcasting of more than $6.6 billion over the same five year period,” he said.

“The Government's highest priority is to repair the Budget and build a stronger and more prosperous economy. The ABC and SBS have been asked, like all other government agencies, to contribute to this effort.”

The announcement came following an efficiency review launched in January.

Read more: Statement from SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid on funding cuts

Source SBS

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