It seems that the cuts faxing the ABC will likely result in significant job losses, according to The ABC managing director Mark Scott. Mr. Scott faced a senate estimates hearing this evening, giving a wholehearted and insistent defence of the virtues of the ABC.

As the media landscape is changing each day, job prospects in the once booming industry become less likely. Mr. Scott took the occasion to lambast the government for a range of sweeping cuts which will likely see hundreds of millions of dollars slashed from its budget. The managing director questioned the logic behind the decision and publicly raised attention to the potential political motivations of such cuts.

He added that ABC staff nationwide can expect to be briefed on Monday morning. Mr. Scott says the staff will know exactly which jobs will be cut and which services will be dropped. The bedraggled chief even went so far as to imply that the ABC board has been at a loss to figure out how redundancies will be paid out to long-time staff getting the axe.

Mr. Scott claimed that many of the recommendations made to the Government would be difficult and costly to implement. In addition to these shortfalls, programming and creative content will ultimately suffer. “There are content impacts of making efficiency decisions,” Mr Scott told the hearing committee. “If the ABC shuts down digital radio, is that a content question or an efficiency question? I think it’s both.”

Over at SBS, however, the mood is somewhat more positive. SBS corporate affairs, strategy and communication director Peter Khalil said job losses would be incredibly unlikely. “I can say that as part of the efficiencies that we’re looking at to meet these cuts there are no planned redundancies as such,” Mr Khalil reported to the at-times stony committee.

In the short term, this isn’t good for the long-term employment prospects of those in the media and communications field. As one of the country’s chief pools of talent, the loss of countless ABC staff will likely have a flow-on effect for the rest of the industry.


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