The ABC and SBS are vital public news and cultural institutions that strengthen media diversity and represent a major Commonwealth contribution to civic journalism.
In the fast-evolving world of media organisations, it is important to support the public broadcasters to be the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars in undertaking their important work for the community.
This review will assist the public broadcasters as they approach the next funding triennium through which more than $3.9 billion will be provided from July 2019.
This significant financial contribution by the community to the public broadcasters reflects the importance that Australians place on the role of the ABC and SBS in shaping Australia’s sense of national identify and informing, entertaining and reflecting the cultural diversity of the community.
The Australian Parliament has ensured that the ABC and SBS enjoy operational and editorial independence, and are responsible for meeting a broad range of requirements under their respective Charters, establishing Acts and other Acts. This legislated independence is the foundation of public broadcasting.
It is important that from time to time all Commonwealth agencies, including the public broadcasters, participate in work that provides advice to government, and respective Boards, on areas where efficiency can be enhanced in the community interest. This was the context of the 2014 ABC and SBS Efficiency Study (the Lewis Review).
The current review will build on the Lewis Review, and is timely given the rapid pace of change in the media sector.
Peter Tonagh and Richard Bean will conduct the review, assisted by the Department of Communications and the Arts, in cooperation with the ABC and SBS.