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Know what you’re voting for!

Do you know what each Party has promised for SBS if elected?

Save Our SBS looks at the election policies of four Parties.

The Greens will provide $130m over three years to remove in-program advertising on SBS[1] and Labor will not increase advertising ensuring SBS remains a properly publicly funded broadcaster[2].

Labor will invest $40m for people who work in Australian media and an extra $20m for SBS[3].

The Greens and Labor have promised to increase funding for SBS.

The Liberals and Nationals don’t have an election policy for SBS[4][5]. But we know their past record.

The night before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott promised that there would be “no cuts to SBS”. Then as Liberal Prime Minister he cut $53m in 2014.

In 2015 the Liberals wanted to change the law to double the hourly advertising limit on SBS, making it less independent and looking even more like a commercial broadcaster. However, 62,000 people signed a petition objecting to more ads on SBS so the Parliament did not change the law and there was no increase in advertising.

But the Liberal-National Coalition government persisted. In 2016 they re-introduced the same law. Within a week, 10,000 people objected by email to MPs and Senators and the Minister withdrew the proposed legislation.

Last year, the Liberal Party Federal Council passed a motion calling for the ‘privatisation of the ABC’[6]. So what’s in store for SBS? They are not saying publicly.

Many have formed the view that the Liberals and Nationals are not supportive of our public broadcasters.

By contrast, in their policies, the Greens and Labor provide supportive comments about SBS.

The Greens say that SBS is a ‘cultural cornerstone of our national life’ while Labor ‘supports the independence of SBS as a unique broadcasting service promoting multicultural Australia’.

The Greens will ‘increase and lock-in funding for SBS’.

Labor will provide ‘significant and increasing triennial funding to SBS so it can deliver quality public broadcasting services’.

The Greens will ‘explicitly rule out SBS On Demand being placed behind a paywall’.

Labor will ‘ensure SBS board members and chairpersons are appointed on merit’.

[1] R. Di Natale, the Australian Greens, 18 November 2018, POLICY INITIATIVE STRENGTHENING AUSTRALIAN MEDIA Publicly funded and diverse media to strengthen our democracy, page 2, more.
[2] Noah Carroll, ALP National Secretary,  48thALP National Platform, CHAPTER 10: STRONG DEMOCRACY AND EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT, page 216, paragraph 114, more.
[3] Bill Shorten, Doorstop, 11 May 2019 more.
[4] Liberal Party, Election Policies, more.
[5] Nationals, 2019 Election Policies, more.
[6] Jane Norman, ABC, 16 June 2018, Liberal Party members vote to privatise ABC and move Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, more.



28 comments to Know what you’re voting for!

  • Fernando

    A vote for the Liberals is a vote to harm SBS. Commercial breaks disrupting programs on SBS are very annoying and make it look nothing like the public broadcaster it was. Good to see the Greens are promising to remove the ad breaks in programs. I hope Labor will do the same if they form government.

  • I sincerely hope Labour comes to power and along with the Greens helps preserve our beloved SBS by providing the means to keep it functioning as it should. Proper funding, no ads.

  • Andrew Pike

    I am keen to see SBS free of advertising and accordingly I intend to lobby Labor to the best of my ability if they form government.

    I am also very keen for SBS to be adequately funded so that it can resume its once prominent role in showcasing independent Australian documentaries (as it did in the golden era of SBS Independent).

  • Gerry Ambroisine

    Many thanks.
    I am a great supporter of SBS and the ABC.
    I have already voted for the Labor candidate in Richmond, Justine Elliot, and Labor, followed by the Greend in the Senate.

  • George J King

    my late mother used to say about some people : they know the value of everything and the value of nothing.

    Sounds like the Liberal attitude to SBS, nothing about programmes or radio – how much can we get for it.

  • Ronald Yates

    My life would be a desert without the ABC and SBS. Every day of the week the programmes of both channels stand head and shoulders all the other free-to-air channels

  • Bruce Dudon

    I botched the first attempt.
    I fully support the funding of the ABC and SBS because without them we will have increased amounts of New York based money ideas from a particular organisation run or almost run by a former Australian.
    We must have our independent NEWS MEDIA and not a FOREIGN CONTROLLED organisation.

  • Cherie

    I love SBS and the ABC. Australia would be a barren wasteland without them.
    The LNP have done disastrous things to the ABC (along with so many other things: NBN; NDIS; public education and health to name a few).
    I can’t wait for a government that governs for the people, the planet, and the future.

  • Christina Barry

    It’s simple…Vote Greens and Labour. The current government gets fat on now politics and has no vision for a sustainable future. SBS and the ABC will continue to be commercialised under the current government, to pay for big company tax cuts and continued tax avoidance of those same companies. Greens and Labour will finally have the fat cats pay their dues,…funding will return to public schools, health and ABC and SBS!
    Just as the simple math was required to complete and enter your comment,… so is the simple math of this above equation, for a better future for ALL Australians.

  • Camilla Barlow

    I vote for the party, parties that support the ABC and SBS. I have never even looked at the other channels!

  • The ABC and SBS should be allowed to get on with developing and delivering great content.

    They don’t need political interference…they are great Australian enterprises that provide a wealth of entertainment and generate necessary debate and dialogue.

    Politicians that tamper with these wonderful and necessary institutions do so at their peril. They are there to please, generate debate, entertain, inform, give context to the problems and issues that effect and drive our wonderful Australian society.

  • Florence Conway

    Thank you for all of your efforts. SBS and ABC are the only Australian channels I watch. Ads between programs would be tolerable, but can’t stand frequent breaks during a movie, etc. I just turn it off when that happens. PLEASE no ads during programs.
    And, even with my smart TV I can’t get SBS on Demand.

  • Dorin Suciu

    Couldn’t live without SBS or the ABC and it is essential that all Australian communities have access to quality journalism and current affairs so that we can make informed decisions about how we live. Unfortunately the other networks and media groups are too aligned with big business to provide bias-free content. I am fed-up with media barons trying to buy my vote through negative campaigning, and by spreading fear and mistruths. Our family is voting Labor to maintain quality media for all. Viva an independent SBS!!!

  • We need our ABC and SBS. These are the channels that give us news of the world and unbiased opinions of Australian politics and policies. The ABC is my favorite. No ads. But SBS covers so many issues in our country. We need to know about asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and the plight of the Aboriginal citizens.

  • Christina, how true. Besides Labour and The Greens no other party is looking to the future. The one question that was asked on Q&A was just that. If we plant a tree today we plant it for our children and grandchildren and generations to come. The world is in a mess because governments only look at the present.

  • Paul

    ABC saves lives during fires and provides news to the masses , SBS communicates and adds culture. We need them both. Education is going backwards. Hospitals are not coping.
    Roads and suburbs are overcrowded and lack infrastructure.
    Our country is overpopulated considering the tiny amount of it which can be lived in.
    Our great Murray Darling is dying. Adani and others threaten our very existence and stupid politicians endorse such destruction by their greedy inept ways.
    None of the political parties have the right answers. Australia needs a complete political shake down. Politicians are rich…at our expense…AND WASTING OUR MONEY.

  • Wayne Reid

    Hi SBS..love be your shows..have been watching since you first started in 1982 ..I feel that you and ABC deserve more funding being such wonderful,meaningful, interesting and varied subjects and I would like to see that all the staff receive pay rises not just the top management. Also that all the staff vote on who becomes management from CEO down so they feel comfortable with the choices made based on merit and experience within their workplace…keep up the great work guys..the public relies on you .

  • Nyema Hermiston

    SBS is a lifeline for our family, hosting relevant programmes not seen on other channels. It is more educational than other channels and provides a range of cultural programmes. We strongly support adequate government funding for this valuable community resource.

  • David Coombes

    The only two television channels that are worthy of viewing are SBS and ABC. I have already voted Greens, although unfortunately they have no hope of forming government. At least the ALP will be more favourable to the two public broadcasters, hopefully pushed on to better reforms by the Greens in the senate. The LNP are nothing more than lying charlatans only interested in themselves and their corporate, non tax paying mates.They would sooner give tax breaks to multinational companies than better fund SBS and the ABC.

  • Mariella gussoni

    Save our SBS and ABC. The only worthwhile channels left to develop an educated society. The rest is rubbish. Take responsibility politicians, listen to your people and represent them as they want to be represented

  • Martha Hills

    As if I need ANOTHER reason to not vote for Liberals!!!!

  • Patricia Kirkman

    The Liberals (a misnomer to begin with). the ABC and SBS are the only channel to watch. I rarely watch other of the channels, unless something manages to slip in by mistake! An independent broadcaster is anathema to this government. A healthy democracy needs it. We certainly dont need to be preached to by an American.
    Long live the ABC and SBS vote out the Libs

  • Dot Price

    I love SBS and i don’t want to see it compromised in any way.

  • Barbara Tweedie

    Agree totally, also agree with another sentiment re the Greens removing the advertising from SBS, it is so annoying to put it mildly.

  • Justin Harris

    The Liberals are a cancer on society, the up and coming younger generations already know this and once the oldies have passed, the LNP will be a forgotten dinosaur (none to soon)
    Their free-market economics have taken control of sovereign countries to be controlled by the face-less entities at the top of the pyramid:- IMF, Corporations, Banksters.

    I believe the socialist movement will soon free society from the neo-capitalist ponzy scheme we live under once the young realise the damage this system has done to humans and the planet, we then just need a “French styled Bastille day” to get rid of those at the top of society. Politicians only cause division in society that is mainly their purpose (divide and control) however the Greens will lead us in the right direction once the masses are awake.

  • Pat Best

    I’m 81. .. I grew up with the ABC – no TV, facebook or anything, then! When SBS was born, it seemed to be the other half of the world story, and still is? I’d prefer “no ads”, but they are the only 2 stations I watch, so that’s OK.

    I want whoever is eventually in government TO LEAVE THE ABC AND SBS ALONE!!!!

    I’m so tired of the cant and puerile behaviour of most of the pollies…. My very first vote was for Bob Menzies, who did better than the rabble in Parliament, today? Sigh.

  • Pamela Jenkins

    The SBS is a great resource and should be maintained by whoever is in government.
    Privatizing is really is a form of censorship. We will just end up with more of the same from the broadcasting monopoly.


    Sadly, people have been dumbed down by commercial broadcasters.
    Shows like Married at first sight and the Bachelor have been FED to the masses and these shows profess to be ” REALITY”.
    Without SBS and ABC we would not get any REAL REALITY.
    Advertising corrupts the opinion of the broadcasters as to what they can and cannot broadcast.
    Government control means CENSORSHIP……period!