2023-24 Australian Government Budget Update
The 2023-2024 Federal Budget was handed down last night by the Treasurer Jim Chalmers.
- Indexation of CBF allocation delivers minor additional funding to meet rising costs
- Funding for broadcast infrastructure in First Nations communities
- Extension of VAST service
- Public Broadcasters move to 5-year funding
- Development of a News Media Assistance Program (News MAP) to guide news media policy intervention, and support public interest journalism and media diversity.
- $286 million to deliver on Australia’s Cultural Policy: Revive including through; restoring core arts funding; establishing Creative Australia, Music Australia and Writers Australia.
Community Broadcasting Program
Allocation to the Community Broadcasting Program has increased in dollar amount because it has been indexed to keep up with rising costs.
Due to indexation, funding allocation to the community broadcasting program has increased by over $600,000 over the next three years. This increase is offset by rising costs, so the sector’s Government funding remains stable in real terms.
|Community Broadcasting Program – Comparison of last two Budgets|
|Budget Year||October 2022 Budget ($’000)||May 2023 Budget ($’000)||Increase (Oct vs May Budgets)|
|2024-25 Forward estimate||22,345||22,587||+242,000|
|2025-26 Forward estimate||22,721||23,026||+305,000|
|2026-27 Forward estimate||–||23,535||–|
|Note: Australian Government funding support for community broadcasting is provided through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts to the Community Broadcasting Program and is administered independently through the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).|
The CBAA is continuing to call for Government to commit a substantial increase in funding to build station resilience and enhance the sector’s community impact. We are working with the Department to support their review into sector sustainability and to ensure this process accurately captures the positive community impact broadcasters achieve reflects a clear understanding of the funding required to support sector sustainability. Many stations have participated in the Department’s recent survey of the program, which is one input to this process. We are hopeful that additional support for broadcasters will be achieved once this work is completed before the end of the year.
- Funding the extension of the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service across regional and remote Australia for an additional seven years until 2030-31. This supports community radio broadcasting in remote areas as well as free-to-air commercial television.
- $5 million to help sustain the Australian Associated Press (AAP)
- News MAP (Media Assistance Program) is developed to guide news media policy intervention, and support public interest journalism and media diversity.
- $2.5 million for the Department of Infrastructure (Communications) to partner with the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA) to support media literacy in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. This partnership aims to empower multicultural communities to combat harms associated with the proliferation of deceptive information including mis and disinformation, and support improved economic and civic participation.
The Government is delivering on its election commitment to five-year funding terms for the national broadcasters – with annual funding of $1.1 billion for the ABC and $334.9 million for SBS.
- ABC Enhanced News Gathering, which supports regional journalist positions in regional bureaus throughout Australia;
- SBS Media Sector Support, which provides news, content, subtitling and English learning resources to Australians who speak languages other than English, with a focus on Chinese and Arabic communities; and
- ABC and SBS Audio Description, to make screen content more accessible to audiences who are blind or vision impaired.
- The ABC will receive $8.5 million over four years to expand transmission infrastructure in the Pacific under the Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy. The funding will provide further access to Australian content, boosting media connections in the region.
First Nations Communications Infrastructure
- Additional funding will be provided in 2023–24 to support the continued provision of broadcasting services in remote and First Nations communities and to initiate work to assess the state of broadcasting transmission and reception equipment in these areas.
- $10 million in funding under the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) to enhance digital connectivity for First Nations Australians and address the digital divide. This funding has been added to the latest round of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) and is dedicated to delivering solutions that improve mobile phone coverage and internet connections in Central Australia.
Arts and Culture
- $286 million to deliver on Revive including through; restoring core arts funding; establishing Creative Australia, Music Australia, Writers Australia and a Creative Workplaces centre to support arts workers; establishing a First Nations-led body dedicated to First Nations work; sharing the National Gallery of Australia’s collection with regional and suburban galleries; and improving incomes for authors.
- $9 million in 2023-24 to Australia’s eight national arts training organisations to secure critical training courses and skills development and maintain Australian trained in-demand performers and production specialists for Australia’s live performing arts and screen industry and the creative economy more broadly.