- Australian Conservatives recognise the importance of the National Broadcaster to many Australians, particularly those located in rural and remote communities.
- We also recognise that a diversified and financially sustainable media industry is important for all Australians.
- Australian Conservatives will merge the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
- We will require the new, merged broadcaster to strictly adhere to enhanced charter obligations of balance and a diversity of views.
- We will ensure that it puts a greater emphasis on rural and regional broadcasting and alleviating other important gaps in commercial media coverage.
Merge and reform
The media sector in Australia and around the world is undergoing significant disruption and national, taxpayer-funded broadcasting cannot be insulated from these changes.
Australian Conservatives will merge the ABC and SBS into a single, consolidated broadcaster saving taxpayers over $1 billion per year with the savings dedicated to debt reduction.
Greater focus on the bush
Australian Conservatives will give the consolidated broadcaster a greater rural and regional focus – to ensure that the few remaining gaps in the Australian media landscape, including providing critical information during natural disasters and emergencies, are well-covered.
We will reform the board arrangements and Charter of the current ABC and ensure that the consolidated broadcaster is truly impartial, unbiased and presents a diversity of views representative of the Australian nation.
Reduced scope and presence
Australian Conservatives will limit the consolidated broadcaster to two TV stations – covering news, current affairs, drama and entertainment.
We will limit the consolidated broadcaster to two radio stations available nationally with local and national content.
Further, Australian Conservatives will limit the provision of online services by the consolidated broadcaster to on-demand viewing of the local news, entertainment and current affairs programs produced by the broadcaster.
These changes will save taxpayers over $1 billion per annum which will be used to repay the national debt. They will further strengthen the diversity of the media market by limiting the size, scope and reach of government-funded broadcasting.