News National Government gearing up to cut ABC funds: Wong

Government gearing up to cut ABC funds: Wong

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Labor frontbencher Penny Wong has dismissed the efficiency review into the ABC as a red herring.

Senator Wong on Sunday accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of attacking an organisation for being critical of his government.

“I don’t think the issue here is whether it’s efficient,” she told Sky News.

“I think the agenda for the review is to seek to find a reason to reduce funding to the ABC because the government doesn’t like what the ABC does and says.”

The announcement of the review last week followed Mr Abbott’s criticism that the ABC was acting against the national interest and lacking “basic affection for the home team”.

Senator Wong said before the election the coalition promised no funding cuts for the ABC and SBS.

“I think that will turn out to be a lie,” she said.

She opposes the potential abolition of the ABC-operated Australia Network which beams programs into the Asia Pacific region.

“It’s a good thing to have a presence in the region,” Senator Wong said, adding that her family and friends overseas were fond of the station.