There will be some tentative sighs of relief at Ultimo today, with the government continuing its base funding for the ABC of $3.1 billion over the next three years. But a 2013-14 addition, the $20 million-a-year “enhanced newsgathering” funding, has been slashed by almost a third, meaning some job losses are likely.
The enhanced newsgathering funding was an initiative of the 2013-14 budget and was due to expire this year. It is tied funding, meaning it has to be allocated for a specific purpose, and it went towards employing the ABC’s national reporting team, ABC Fact Check and more journalists for regional Australia. Instead of the $20 million a year promised by the Rudd-Gillard government, the Turnbull government has committed to $13.7 million this year, $13.8 million in 2017-18 and $14.1 million in 2018-19.