Media law reform package reintroduced
Turnbull Government has reintroduced much needed media reform legislation to
support the viability of Australian media organisations as they face increasing
competition from less regulated services.
are changing the way they access media and our laws must adapt to these trends.
In the digital era, our current regulations unfairly restrict Australian-based
broadcast or publishing companies from optimising the scale and scope of their
operations and from accessing resources, capital and management expertise
available to other media operators.
media operators must have the flexibility to compete and adapt in the changing
media landscape. These proposed changes to the media control rules will allow
businesses to configure themselves in a way that best suits their needs
ensuring they can continue to play a significant role in the Australian
media reform package is substantially unchanged from that introduced in March
this year. The package will result in major changes to the regulations
governing the control and ownership of Australia's traditional media outlets
and the provision of local television content in regional Australia.
package will repeal media ownership and control rules that prevent:
person from controlling commercial television licences whose combined licence
area populations reach more than 75 per cent of the Australian population (the
'reach rule'); and
person from controlling more than two of the three regulated forms of media (commercial
radio, commercial television and associated newspapers) in one commercial radio
licence area (the '2 out of 3 rule').
reform package will also strengthen local content obligations on regional
commercial television licensees following a change in control, such as a
merger, that results in them being part of a group whose combined licence area
populations reach more than 75 per cent of the Australian population.
Government is maintaining other diversity rules including the ‘5/4’ rule, the
‘one-to-a-market’ rule and the ‘two-to-a-market’ rule. The Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission will retain its powers to scrutinise
mergers and acquisitions and is in the process of updating its media merger
legislation has already been subjected to significant scrutiny through a
comprehensive Senate Committee Inquiry conducted between March and May 2016.
The reintroduced legislation has been amended to address a minor issue
identified by the Committee. The Committee recommended that the legislation be
Government does not support any further review of the package, noting the
extensive debate this issue has undergone in recent years. Australian media
companies, regional local content and jobs are at risk if these reforms are not
enacted soon. It is time for action.
information is available at: mediareform.communications.gov.au