Labor Senators inquiring into the ABC’s commitment to regional diversity are disappointed by the closure of the ABC Production Unit in Hobart and are calling for a real commitment to regional Australia by ABC Managing Director, Mr Mark Scott.
They have made additional comments and recommendations to the Senate Inquiry the ABC’s Commitment to Regional Diversity calling for a real commitment to regional Australia through tied funding for TV production in regional Australia.
“Labor Senators on the Committee had strong concerns about centralisation of TV production in Sydney and Melbourne,” Senator Bilyk said. “We recommended that the ABC commits 50% of the television production budget to regional production, similar to the model that is used by the BBC in the United Kingdom”.
“Labor Senators also recommended that when the ABC does engage in co-production, they seek to use the existing skills of their staff and their production facilities, rather than acting solely as a source of revenue”.
“Evidence given to the committee showed that ABC TV Production Units in regional centres are vital for ensuring regional diversity is maintained,” said Senator Bilyk. “ABC TV Production units are also vital to support the wider Film and Television sector in Tasmania and other regional areas,” said Senator Bilyk.
To this aim, the Committee report called for the establishment of a regional production fund.
“While a regional production fund would be a positive step to ensure some production occurs in regional Australia, the Labor Senators on the Committee would prefer tied funding for production in regional Australia at ABC Production Units,” said Senator Bilyk.
The full report, including additional comments and recommendations can be found at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/abc_production/index.htm
The Labor members of the Committee for the ABC Inquiry were Senators Bilyk, Singh, Thorp, Brown and Cameron.
Senator Catryna Bilyk Labor Senator for Tasmania Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety