Support for Australia’s Public Service and Community Broadcasters
The purpose of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as set out in the ABC Charter is to provide broadcasting and digital media services that, among other things, contribute to a sense of national identity, inform and entertain, and reflect Australia’s cultural diversity and multicultural society.
The purpose of the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS) is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio, television and digital media services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia's multicultural society.
The Australian Government supports community broadcasting through the Community Broadcasting Program. Community radio provides a valuable service to interest groups not specifically served by commercial, subscription or national broadcasters and contributes to the overall diversity of the broadcasting sector.
The ABC and the SBS are two of Australia’s most important cultural institutions. These public broadcasters promote the diversity of cultural expressions in Australia through offering a wide range of content that reflects Australia’s diverse society.
As the primary national broadcaster in Australia, the ABC reflects Australia’s national identity and cultural diversity, educates and informs, facilitates public debate and fosters the performing arts. The ABC plays a significant role in the lives of all Australians, not only though the broadcasting and digital media services it delivers, but also through direct engagement with local communities around the country. The ABC showcases various art forms, such as film, music, performing arts, literature and visual arts, to a wide audience throughout its various broadcasting and digital media services.
SBS is set apart from broadcasters in Australia and around the world through its offering of multilingual and multicultural television, radio and digital media services. SBS celebrates Australia’s rich diversity and common threads in Australian society. It commissions and creates content that promotes the diversity of cultural expressions within Australia and around the world.
National Indigenous Television (NITV), part of SBS, is an important platform for the celebration of the unique languages and culture of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NITV’s content is produced by people who identify as Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, creating opportunities for the diversity of artistic and cultural expressions for this social group.
The Australian Government supports community broadcasting through the Community Broadcasting Program. This funding helps to support training, transmission, online services and broadcasting Australian content and music. It also includes targeted funding for Indigenous, ethnic and radio for the print handicapped services.
In the case of the ABC, all Australians will have access to content and programming via a number of platforms that promote national identity. Content will inform, entertain and educate the Australian community, reflecting our cultural diversity. Australians will enjoy access to musical, dramatic and other performing arts as well as the news and current affairs of other countries.
In relation to SBS, Australians will have access to a range of content and programming over a number of platforms that reflect a multilingual and multicultural nature, that inform, educate, and entertain, while promoting Australia’s multicultural society.
In relation to the Community Broadcasting Program, the expected results include greater diversity in the content and control of radio broadcasting services.
The ABC and SBS are funded on a triennium basis. The current triennium was announced in the 2016-17 Budget and the ABC received base funding of A$3.1 billion over three years to 2018-19. In addition, the Government provided the ABC with A$41.4 million over three years to sustain local news and current affairs services, particularly those located outside the capital cities and delivery of news content across its digital and mobile platforms.
In the 2016-17 Budget, SBS received base funding of A$814.2 million over three years to 2018-19. The Government also provided SBS with an additional A$8.3 million over three years to continue its commitment to multilingual, multicultural and Indigenous media services. The next triennium funding round will commence in the 2019-20 Budget process.
The Government will provide A$21.6 million in 2017-18 to support community radio broadcasting, including A$4.2 million for community digital radio. This funding will help support content development, training, transmission, online services and broadcasting Australian music as well as targeted funding for indigenous, ethnic and radio for the print handicapped services.
Public and Community Broadcasting measures are monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure they are delivering the intended outcomes.
The Community Broadcasting Foundation has also delivered against funding milestones and provided reports that are comprehensive and satisfy all financial requirements.