4.3 Communications Portfolio

The Communications Portfolio’s role is to develop policy advice and provide services related to broadband, postal and telecommunications, spectrum, broadcasting, and the digital and information economies.

The Minister administers 40 pieces of legislation ranging from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 to the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989.

The Communications Portfolio is relatively small in terms of direct expenditure with total resourcing of $3.6 billion, of which $1.9 billion is departmental funding and $1.7 billion is administered.

The portfolio employs 6,793 people, with the majority of people employed in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (4,619), and the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS) (1,058).

Table 4.3.1: Portfolio resourcing: Communications

Funding ($'000)

Staffing

Entity

Departmental

Administered

Total

ASL

Department of Communications

               113,644

           1,604,590

            1,718,234

             576

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

           1,252,637

                            -

            1,252,637

         4,619

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

               376,978

                            -

               376,978

         1,058

Australian Communications and Media Authority

               112,248

                       350

               112,598

             523

Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency

                    5,011

                 85,430

                  90,441

               17

PORTFOLIO (1)

1,860,518

1,690,370

3,550,888

6,793

Source: Department of Finance. 2013‑14 Budget updated for machinery of government changes.
(1) As individual entity resourcing includes inter-agency transfers and payments, total resourcing for the portfolio may be overstated by this amount.

The Department of Communications is responsible for promoting the digital economy through services and programmes related to broadband, broadcasting and the communications sector. Significant programmes undertaken by the Department include converting Australia to digital-only television, digital enterprises, and community broadcasting.

The ABC is a national broadcaster with radio, television and online services. It aims to contribute to and reflect Australia’s national identity, foster creativity and the arts and encourage cultural diversity.

The SBS is a national broadcaster with television, radio and online services. It provides multicultural and multilingual services.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is responsible for regulating in accordance with legislation related to broadcasting, radio communications, telecommunications and online content.

The Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA) is responsible for supporting the delivery of universal service and other public interest telecommunications services to all Australians.

Australia Post is a government business enterprise, wholly owned by the Commonwealth Government. It provides mail and delivery service to all Australians and a range of parcel and logistics services.

NBN Co Ltd is another government business enterprise within the Communications Portfolio. It is tasked with building and managing the National Broadband Network, which will provide all of Australia with high-speed internet services.

Chart 4.3.1 is a graphical representation of the relative size of bodies within the Communications Portfolio.

Chart 4.3.1: Communications

This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.

This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.