Friends of the ABC (Vic) have released the following press release in relation to the Federal budget. “The turnaround in government appreciation of the ABC is heartening," said Glenys Stradijot, a spokesperson for Friends of the ABC (Vic).

“But from the ABC's low base, the increase in funding delivered to the national broadcaster is disappointing.

“It does not meet the Government's pre-election promise to Friends of the ABC to ensure the ABC is "fully funded".

“The kids of Australia will benefit from a new dedicated children’s TV channel, and there is funding for new regional broadband hubs that will broadcast audience-generated content.

“But the funding of the new has come at the expense of established networks. The shortfall in ABC funding that was revealed in leaks from the KPMG report on the adequacy of ABC funding appears to have been ignored.

“With the exception of some additional funding for local drama, the Government has regrettably not provided sufficient funding to address the ABC’s declining resources in existing services, such as documentary and science programming, the ABC's domestic and international radio networks, news and current affairs.

“The increase in funding for Australian drama is insufficient to meet communications minister Conroy's expectation of an annual output of ninety hours. It will result in programming of questionable quality. It is also premised on all production being outsourced, so that it is supplemented with funding from elsewhere.

“Nor has the Budget addressed the need for additional content for emerging services like online and digital radio, other than audience-generated content for regional broadband hubs.

“The ABC is Australia's pre-eminent cultural, information and education institution. Victoria's recent bushfires reminded the community of the importance of public broadcasting. The ABC is no less important than any other service, and it is in the interest of the nation that it be well-funded,” said Glenys Stradijot.