SBS is a big winner: it’s scored $158 million in extra funding to salvage its increasingly parlous financial position, and out of the triennial funding cycle, which has been delayed a year. In exchange, SBS has agreed to take on the National Indigenous Television service.
ABC will also receive $5 million to switch and upgrade its regional radio services over to a new satellite platform. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will get an extra $9 million to prosecute people smugglers.
Commercial television broadcasters will get yet another government handout, with $143 million going to free to air broadcasters (including ABC and SBS) to more quickly move off analog spectrum that is being “restacked” as part of the digital dividend. Commercial TV broadcasters and the ABC will also get $53.5 million to move off 2.5 gigahertz spectrum so it can be auctioned. The commercial TV licence fee rebate will be continued for another six months, costing $70 million. None of these measures attracted a government press release.
- $81.6 million of ASIO funding will be “redirected to support other national intelligence priorities with the Australian Intelligence Community”
- Our commitment to Afghanistan will cost an extra $1.2 billion over four years
- The government will spend another $72.2 million protecting its Baghdad Embassy as Iraq slides into civil war and another brutal dictatorship
- $100,000 will be spent on a “feasibility study” into a “Parliament House Walk” between Canberra’s CBD and Parliament House
- The ACCC gets a one-off $4.3 million to help it with the apparently growing complexity of legal costs
- ASIC will receive nearly $145 million in extra funding to strengthen its operations and internal systems
- $326.9 million will be spent over four years on the G20 meeting in 2014.