ABC Managing Director Mark Scott today encouraged ABC audiences to have their say on the future of the ABC and the role of public broadcasting in Australia.

Mr Scott welcomed the release of the Towards a Digital Future discussion paper by the Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy and said it was an important and timely discussion in order to secure the future of the ABC.

"The ABC is one of the most significant public institutions in Australia so it is important that audiences have the opportunity to comment on the future of their ABC during the course of this discussion," Mr Scott said.

"We will be alerting our audiences to the discussion paper through announcements on ABC television and radio, and have established a dedicated website with links to the discussion paper and resource documents.

"The ABC's current funding commitment ends in June 2009 so the outcomes of this discussion paper will inform Government as it decides the funding for the next triennium.

"Our aim is to ensure the ABC is adequately resourced to harness the potential of digital media. The ABC has already delivered much with no extra funding - innovative content driving digital TV take-up on ABC2; ABC iView pioneering internet TV; millions of podcasts and vodcasts; ABC Now and ABC Earth.

"But we want to do more - provide more programming that millions of Australians want free of charge and commercial free, so the 2009 Federal Budget will be instrumental for the ABC and our plans going into the future."

The ABC outlined a number of proposals in the lead up to the 2020 Summit that would increase the availability of content and the range of media and delivery platforms to audiences, including a dedicated non-commercial children's channel, with at least 50% Australian content, a public affairs channel and a suite of digital radio services, supported by broadband sites.