TAX PAYER FUNDING OF THE ABC AND SBS
The vast majority of Australians can access television programs from the national broadcasters the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
There has been a historical need to have a public broadcaster and while there continues to remain such a need there is a strong indication that the public owned broadcaster, while wanting to be independent of government it has become wholly taken over by the views of the left political aligned ideologies; this, then, excludes many Australians from the view that this is their broadcaster. It seems we must bring the National broadcaster back to be a broadcaster for all Australians.
While there are growing calls to privatise the ABC and SBS we would prefer a better way forward for an inclusive broadcaster where all views are canvassed equally. We recognise that this may be difficult to achieve, it is our considered view that a commercial ABC would become counter-productive. Just because something is difficult should not cause us to say we should not try to achieve the outcome that is responsible and balanced for all Australians.
Therefore we support:
- An inquiry into claims of historical bias
- A new management structure to balance all potential biases
- Factual based discussions where the different points of views are fully canvased and encouraged.
- The removal of political appointments to the board of the ABC and SBS
- The establishment of an Independent Ombudsman to deal with complaints related to bias
If the ABC and the SBS fail to deliver on both structural and ideological reform, then the calls for funding cuts with the result that the national broadcasters will be forced to sell advertising and paid subscriptions online to compete with commercial newspapers will become louder and more and more sustained.