ABC Friends is warning the Federal Government that it risks losing votes in marginal electorates if it closes a number of regional news bureaux.
It’s widely anticipated that the ABC News Division will lose at least 10 per cent of its funding in next week’s Federal Budget.
Under the outlined cuts, the ABC would lose at least three regional bureaux in marginal seats: Corangamite, Blair and Parramatta.
The three small news bureaux, based in Geelong, Ipswich and Parramatta respectively, were opened several years ago under new government funding.
They are extremely efficient, employing one-or-two reporters who can file for radio, online, and then most often video and edit their own television stories as well.
“If these cuts go ahead as we believe they will,” said ABC Friends National Spokesman Ranald Macdonald, “it will be a huge loss to regional Australia.”
ABC Friends also believes videographer and other jobs will be lost in other regional areas as well, such as Broome and Renmark.
“All political parties would be well served to remember how extremely important the ABC is, particularly in regional areas,” Mr Macdonald said.
“It will be an outrage if these bureaux close.”
ABC Friends National is targeting 20 of the most marginal seats this election, and will release further details soon.
For further questions or comment please contact: Ranald Macdonald 0424 545 516 and/or Margaret Reynolds 0418 181 843