INDUSTRY DEMANDS URGENT ACTION ON REGIONAL MEDIA REFORM FROM MINISTER FIFIELD

Labor’s spokesperson on Regional Communications, Stephen Jones MP, today said that media companies have run out of patience with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield on media reform.

“It is apparent that industry is fed up with Minister Fifield’s failure to act and deliver on media reform in Australia.

“Despite proclaiming the importance of his Media Reform Bill, he has failed to deliver on any part of it.

“It’s no wonder that the CEOs of Southern Cross Austereo, Seven West and Ten are demanding urgent action.

“Labor has repeatedly indicated its support for the removal of the 75 per cent reach rule, which stops a person being in a position to exercise control of commercial television broadcasting licences whose combined licence area population exceeds 75 per cent of the population, but the Minister has not even bothered to pick up the phone to speak to Labor about it.

“Minister Fifield’s lack of legislative and political competence means that the much needed reform affecting regional media has been put in the too hard basket by the Coalition, yet again.

“There have been two Senate Inquiries on this matter this year and in both cases, the abolition of the 75 per cent reach rule has received unqualified support.

“Labor would have got this deal done by now. Instead Minister Fifield prefers to sit back and blame everyone else for his own failures.

“Corporate results this week show that the industry is under severe duress. They are entitled to feel let down by this Minister who has so comprehensively failed them,” Mr Jones said.

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