NAVA RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT CUTS TO ABC AS A LACK OF NATIONAL VISION FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CULTURE
Esther Anatolitis, NAVA Executive Director is mystified as to why the Government has chosen to cut funding to the ABC. “That’s not what confident governments do.”
“To claim that it’s not a cut, but rather a pause in their annual indexation in lieu of an efficiency dividend, is disingenuous. Especially when yet another efficiency review is being ordered. This is a deliberate choice to cut funding to the national broadcaster – the institution Australians trust most as the cornerstone of our democracy.
“Not only that, but the Budget Papers tell us that a deliberate choice has been made to divert some of the ABC’s money to the Captain Cook commemoration project, a proposed permanent presence at the site of the first traumas caused to our First Nations. This is unconscionable – particularly as it has not been announced alongside securing the permission of the Gweagal people of the Dharawal nation, and also, as it follows the rejection of the Uluru Statement.
Australians express a great deal of confidence in the ABC – more than in the Government, as public surveys often show. A 2018 Efficiency Paper revealed that 82% of Australians trust the information by the provided ABC, and 78% regard the ABC as contributing to Australia’s national identity.
“The recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Public Interest Journalism strongly asserted the value Australians place on journalism as a public good.
“Review after review of the ABC has failed to demonstrate any bias or partiality in its reporting.
“A government with confidence in themselves and in their decisions does not make successive cuts that undermine high-quality investigative journalism and cultural production.
Nor does a confident government fail to secure the future of its creative innovators by failing to fund the Australia Council at adequate levels. The Budget offers no vision for the next generation of artists, nor for the adventurous audiences, and critical thinkers who create our future.
Surely the Australian Government isn’t as afraid of the ABC as they are of Australia’s artists?”