The Federal Government’s harsh funding cuts to the ABC is a matter of concern for all Australians according to federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer.
Mr Palmer said the five per cent cut to the public broadcaster’s annual funding was a disgrace when Australia had one of the lowest debt levels in the OECD.
“Five per cent over the next 10 years in real terms is a 50 per cent cut and a shocking blow for press freedom in this country,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“It is clear that the Abbott Government is doing the bidding for News Limited to control as much media content as possible in Australia which should be a matter of great concern for everyone.”
“We have the third lowest debt levels in the OECD and a AAA credit rating, yet this government wants to make the only independent media organisation in the country toothless and create misery by sacking people,” he said.
“Freedom of the press allows for proper scrutiny and the holding of governments to account. The massive reductions in funding means the ABC won’t have the resources to be effective.”
“This action to reduce the ABC’s funding is crushing democracy and robbing Australians of the future they deserve.”
“This moves Australia closer to being in a dictatorship. It is obvious the Abbott Government fears the scrutiny which a properly funded ABC can provide.”
Mr Palmer said the Federal Government needed to be candid about its motives for slashing ABC funding.
“The ABC needs to be protected,’’ he said.