Greens SBS Policy for the 2010 Federal Elections
Q1. Do the Greens support SBS being a strong and respected multicultural public broadcaster?
Yes, the Greens strongly favour maintaining the quality of our public broadcasters. Consider the following clauses of our Media and Communications policy (1):
4. strong, independent public and community media are an essential part of Australia’s media sector.
13. our public broadcasters ABC and SBS to be leaders in the production of independent news, investigative journalism, analysis, entertainment and innovative programming and be free of advertising.
Greens communications spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, has maintained a keen interest in the welfare of SBS throughout the current Parliament. For example, he has moved to legislate to remove advertising from SBS (see below), investigated rumours of pending cuts to news and current affairs staffing levels (2), and moved a motion (in cooperation with Senator Bob Brown) in the Senate calling for the Government to adequately fund SBS (3).
Q2. Would the Greens be accommodating of SBS in a desire to not interrupt programs for advertisements and to what extent would the Greens commit to increasing funding to specifically support such?
Yes. Senator Ludlam has asked a series of Senate Estimates questions to quantify the additional funding required to offset lost revenue due to stopping in-program advertising, and the Greens favour substituting this funding with public revenue (4).
Q3. Would the Greens amend the SBS Act 1991 to prohibit SBS from disrupting programs for advertisements?
Yes. The Greens have a bill in the Senate (the Special Broadcasting Service Amendment (Prohibition of Disruptive Advertising) Bill 2009), originally introduced by the Democrats and then reintroduced by Senator Ludlam, which will do precisely that.
Q4. Are the Greens for or against the merger of the SBS and ABC either in whole or part and if so, to what extent?
The Greens recognise the distinct charter of the SBS and would not support its dilution through a merger with the ABC.
Q5. What are the other major policies of the Greens in regard to SBS?
Other clauses of our Media and Communications policy that specifically address the SBS include:
14. the ABC and the SBS to be governed by independent boards that include staff representation.
32. make funding to the SBS and the ABC comparable to current per capita funding models for public broadcasting in the United Kingdom.
33. require the online services of the ABC and the SBS to be major portal sites for the promotion of Australian content in all genres.
OFFICE OF SENATOR BOB BROWN Leader of the Australian Greens
OFFICE OF SENATOR RACHEL SIEWERT Australian Greens Whip
SG 112, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
T: 02 6277 3762 | F: 02 6277 5762
Subject: Position of the Greens on SBS for
publication of the SaveOurSBS.org website
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 16:35:25 +1000
From: Bull, Emma (Sen B. Brown) <Emma.Bull@aph.gov.au>