The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special
Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS) will be subject to a one per
cent reduction in base funding ($43.5 million over four years).
Norton Rose Fulbright partner
Martyn Taylor considers that "this one per cent reduction
in funding is controversial, but is less severe than many
commentators had expected". He also notes that the ABC and SBS
will remain exempt from the so-called 'efficiency dividend'
that imposes budgetary reductions on other government entities.
However, the budget confirms that the government's contract
with the ABC for the Australia Network will be terminated. The
Australia Network has been Australia's international television
broadcasting service and has been supplied on a 24/7 basis across
the Asia-Pacific. The Australia Network has to date been run by the
ABC under a 10 year contract.
The budget also identifies that the Telecommunications Universal
Service Management Agency (TUSMA) will be dissolved and its
functions will be transferred to the Department of Communications.
TUSMA was an independent entity established in 2012 to manage the
allocation of universal service funding and the ongoing delivery of
universal service obligations for voice-only and payphone services
in the context of the rollout of the National Broadband
Network. The intent of this measure is to realise administrative
The government will also provide $100 million over four
years to improve the coverage and competition in the provision of
terrestrial mobile voice and wireless broadband services in
regional areas of Australia. Both allocations of funding meet
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