The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) provides multilingual and multicultural radio, television and digital media services that reflect Australia’s multicultural society. It broadcasts programs that reflect the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the Australian community.
Radio services are particularly important for migrant communities, as they focus on providing coverage of Australian news and current affairs in their own language. This network currently broadcasts programming in 74 different languages.
Following the Federal Budget, the broadcasting of the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France and specialist language services are at risk of being cut by Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, it has been revealed.
SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid confirmed that any future cuts to the SBS would “devastate” content, including sporting broadcasts, news and current affairs and language services.
“Having to decrease the number of languages would be an incredible shame given the uniqueness of the organisation and particularly when you think about the fact that Australia now is more culturally complex than it has ever been.
There are double the number of people in Australia today that speak another language than there was when SBS was first set up… at a time when Australia probably needs these services more than anything, we need to protect them for the future.”
After promising the night before the election “no cuts to ABC or the SBS”, Tony Abbott ripped $8 million out of the SBS as a “down payment”, with the prospect of more cuts to come.
Mr Ebeid made it clear that there is no more to cut in the back office of the SBS, meaning the future cuts will directly impact content.
Tony Abbott has lied to the community in his Budget of broken promises. Services that many new Australians rely on, as well as quality content that all Australians love, are now on the chopping block.