ABC’s managing director David Anderson has admitted that the national broadcaster will be letting go an undetermined number of staff.
Speaking in Senate Estimates on Tuesday night, Anderson said: “There will be job losses.”
“It's not something I can quantify at this point in time, there's still more work to be done,” he said as reported in ABC.
“Some of it relates to people's employment, some of it does not — efficiency comes in many forms.”
Anderson had flagged the job cuts earlier this week, saying to The Australian “I think we’re facing an ABC of the future that has less people”.
The ABC will cop cuts to its annual funding three times according to the Turnbull government’s 2018-19 budget, with a near-$15 million cut in the 2019 financial year, a $28 million cut in 2020-21 and a cut of more than $41 million in 2021-22. This would bring the total sum of funding cuts to $83.7 million.
Anderson indicated he understood the impact of flagging job cuts without announcing how many.
"For me to be able to say 'yes I believe there will be staff losses' — but not to be able to say how many, or where from — I certainly appreciate is quite uncertain.”
“The task at hand now is to do a sweep of efficiency,” Anderson said.
However, it appears that the managing director plans to scale back quantity in favour of preserving quality.
“The quantum of what the ABC puts out will have to reduce if we’re going to maintain the quality of what it is we do for the public,” he said.
While the ABC had managed to claw back $17 million in savings so far, Anderson said he did not believe ABC would be “able to close that gap without losing staff”.
Efforts would be made to maintain jobs in regional and remote areas, he said.
"One of our priorities for the future is certainly to remain as local as possible.
"Our role is to reflect the culture and community of the country back to itself.
"You struggle to do that unless you are local."
The ABC has slashed more than 1,00 jobs since 2014, according to the Guardian.
ABC knowingly underpaid casual staff by $23 million
The ABC ignored formal complaints from staff and unions as well as opportunities to fix the underpayment, the report revealed.
No staff have been paid back and the repayments have been paused indefinitely.
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