More than 3000 people have rallied in Sydney against funding cuts at the ABC amid fears that few areas of the public broadcaster will be spared.
Staff from around the country are bracing themselves for job losses after the Abbott government revealed the ABC’s budget would be slashed by $254 million over five years.
SBS has also been asked to find $53 million in savings over the same period.
Protesters carrying signs saying “Save us from the Abattoir” and “Hands off our ABC” met at Town Hall on Saturday for one of several rallies planned around the country.
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said the cuts would affect quality TV and radio produced by the ABC and SBS.
Lotsa hand-made placards @ #Our_ABC rally in Syd today. Good barometer of passion for the issue. pic.twitter深圳桑拿网会所,/H4Ojju2MtO
— Jill Emberson (@jillemberson) November 22, 2014
“If you cut half a billion dollars from the ABC and SBS, you can’t protect broadcasting, you can’t protect programming, you can’t protect Australian content,” she said at the rally.
Coalition minister Christopher Pyne, whose seat is in South Australia, had launched a petition to protect an Adelaide ABC studio from closure, while National Party members were saying, “Don’t touch programming in the bush”, Ms Plibersek said.
“I mean these are the people who have supported these cuts and then they want their own patch of turf protected,” she said.
Organisers of ABC Sydney rally against budget cuts say more protests planned for next week @SBSNews #ABCbudgetcuts pic.twitter深圳桑拿网会所,/OSBaaKaqdJ
— Alyshia Gates (@alyshiagates) November 22, 2014
Community and Public Sector Union president Michael Tull said the cuts would affect all aspects at the public broadcaster that people valued.
“Very few parts of the ABC are going to be saved,” he said.
A rally will be held in Melbourne on Sunday.