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ABC unsure how to deal with imminent funding cut

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The acting head of the ABC says the national broadcaster still isn’t sure how it will deal with cuts kicking in from the middle of this year.

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The Turnbull government’s 2018/19 budget showed the ABC would miss out on $83.7 million from 2019/20, by pausing indexation of operational funding.

The funds were not returned in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s first budget last week, which committed $3.2 billion to the ABC over three years.

The ABC’s acting managing director David Anderson has told senators at a budget estimates hearing that the broadcaster yesterday had its first board meeting with new chair Ita Buttrose.

The directors aren’t sure how they will grapple with the latest cut, which Anderson says follows a $250 million drop in the ABC’s budget since 2014.

“It is something we will consider as we move towards the next financial year,” he said.

But he is confident it will have an impact on the content Australians receive from the ABC, “right across the board”.

“I do not believe that we’ll be able to find that $84 million without it somehow affecting our services to the Australian people,” he said.

“I do not believe it can be found through straight efficiency alone.”

The latest budget shows ABC’s staffing levels are expecting to remain the same at 4180.

-AAP

 

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