Hands Off Our ABC

What we stand for: no privatisation

The closure of ABC TV production units in all capital cities bar Sydney and Melbourne in the last six years has been the subject of several Senate Inquiries.

And in each of these inquiries the ABC has been cautioned that the further degradation of ABC production infrastructure and resources including staffing in regional areas and capital cities outside of Sydney and Melbourne will have serious consequences for local Australian content.

According to the ABC’s most recent annual report, only 47% of ABC TV content last year was Australian content, of which 20% was repeat content. First-Release Australian content on the ABC’s flagship channel ABC1 only accounted for 42% of the total content broadcasted, and of the 42%, 55% of it was News and Current Affairs.

In spite of this, the ABC continues to spend a significant portion of its budget on outsourced content not just in TV, but also in radio and online. Further the deliberate under-utilisation of the ABC’s internal production infrastructure and staff is paving the way for future privatisation and further outsourcing.

Currently, the Senate is holding another inquiry, this time into ABC Regional and Rural Services - spearheaded by the ABC's recent decision to axe local radio mornings programs, cut local News bulletins and sack local presenters.

The appointment of Google Ad Executive Michelle Guthrie as the new ABC managing director beginning in mid-2016  has also raised the alarm regarding the commercialisation of some of the ABC Digital Services - namely iview.

Further concern is the fact that the current Minister for the ABC, Mitch Fifield has previously advocated for the privatisation of the ABC.