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ABC shaves tech crew

20% of staff set to go

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Rampant rationalization hitting Australia public broadcaster, the ABC, has extended to the technical ranks.

The Australian reports that Aunty’s executive bean counters have 20 percent of its technical support staff in the firing line.

The newspaper says it has seen documents attributing the proposed restructure of technical resources to the demands of the ABC’s 24-hour news channel, ABC News 24.

"Changes in the way the business operates have brought about new digital technologies and additional requirements (such as News 24 and tapeless news, as well as the move under way to tapeless TV and integrated content sharing)," the document states.

If the plans go ahead the ABC could make dozens of staff in each state and territory redundant as it centralizes technical support. Last week ABC TV announced a raft of cuts to programming, production and resources as a result of “increasing financial pressures.”

ABC TV director Kim Dalton said, “in the face of an increasingly competitive broadcasting environment and increasing financial pressures, ABC TV must ensure it uses its Government funding as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver maximum value to its audiences and the Australian taxpayer.”

Community and Public Sector Union section secretary for the ABC, Graeme Thomson responded stating, "taxpayers have the right to be outraged by the dismantling of their ABC," he stated. "This announcement raises serious questions about whether the ABC is delivering against its legislative Charter, Parliament's justification for the ABC's one billion dollar budget." ®

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