Radio Australia and Australia network have announced plans to eliminate positions and services deemed redundant, according to RadioInfo.com. This comes after the public broadcaster’s budget proposal of $35 million for international broadcasting was shrunk to $15 million, according to Australia’s International Business Times.
The layoffs will fall mostly across the Asia Pacific News Centre and ABC International, and will impact Radio Australia, including the axing of three programs (Asia Pacific, RA Morning Program and another to be determined). Radio Australia’s language service will likely be cut, while ABC News 24 will remain the foundation of the international service.
The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Australia Network contract was worth about $220 million over 10 years and funded many reporting and operational positions. The contract was cancelled as part of the Abbott Government’s first budget in May, with the termination effective in August.
The ABC will lose about 80 staff resulting from the termination of the Australian Network contract. News and current affairs redundancies are expected to be mostly in TV, but three Radio Australia correspondents covering Asia Finance and the Pacific will be eliminated.
According to reports, a consultation process has begun to restructure the remaining staff to serve the ABC’s Charter requirements for international broadcasting. Rumors indicate that DFAT is insisting that only jobs directly associated with the contract are to be targeted.