A federal government review into the efficiencies of the public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, has ruled out the two merging or being privatised but hasn’t dismissed the two sharing resources or collaborating.
The Turnbull government announced the review in the May budget along with an $84 million pause in the broadcasters’ funding.
Communications minister Mitch Fifield also announced that former Foxtel chief Peter Tonagh will head the revue alongside the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Richard Bean.
According to reports on The Guardian the revue will not consider apparent political bias at the ABC, charging for digital sites, allowing advertising on the ABC, privatisation of either broadcaster, merging the two broadcasters into one, or the quality of the programming.
Yesterday, Fifield said via a statement: “In the fast-evolving world of media organisations, it is important to support our public broadcasters to be the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars in undertaking their important work for the community.
“The government will not merge or otherwise change the ownership arrangements of the ABC and SBS.
“Efficiency options will be consistent with ABC and SBS continuing as distinct corporate entities in public hands and under separate legislation.
“In response to sector-wide technological developments the review will also explore opportunities for greater efficiency through innovation,” he said.