Federation condemns cuts to ABC services

Federation executive decision

Executive expresses its concern that funding cuts at the ABC have led to cuts to educational programs, news and current affairs and to the ABC's cadet training program

Ms Jennifer Leete, Deputy President NSWTF said today;

"Federation Executive today considered the proposed cuts to ABC services, particularly those related to schools and carried the following resolution."

"Educational programs produced by the ABC provide a valuable resource for students and teachers in public schools and colleges across the nation. These programs are particularly important for schools and students in social-economically disadvantaged communities."

"'Behind the News' in particular has been an important educational resource for more than 30 years. It has provided an invaluable resource for teachers of stage 3 students in that it has:

  • made news and current affairs accessible and comprehensible for students without taking a 'dumbing down' approach;
  • encouraged a broad and unbiased perspective of international and national affairs;
  • encouraged students to engage in our world;
  • encouraged a realistic and critical understanding of the role of the media."

    "Further, the decision to cut the $0.53million cadet training program is opposed. These cadetships have been highly sought after by communications students. Their demise will reduce opportunities for young people to take up a career in journalism and undermine our chances of ensuring high quality and effective journalism."

    "These cuts arise directly from the Howard government's decision to engage in an exercise of 'political payback' at the same time rejecting the recent triennial funding submission put forward to the government by the ABC Board. The refusal by the Howard government to do anything other than maintain current real levels of funding undoubtedly has a direct connection to the Federal government's unfounded allegations of bias on the part of the ABC over its coverage of the recent Iraq war."

    "The Howard government has systematically promoted the destruction of the ABC as an independent news source and through funding cuts has sought to reduce its role as both an educator and venue for the exposure of original Australian cultural contributions. Censorship and curtailment of cultural expression is another characteristic of the Howard government's social conservatism."

    "In addition to making representations to the Federal government and the Board, Federation will work co-operatively with Labor Council, other unions and community groups to oppose the program cuts and to achieve the restoration of realistic funding of the ABC." said Ms Leete.

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