MINISTER FIFIELD EMBARASSED INTO HALF-HEARTED ATTEMPT ON REGIONAL MEDIA REFORM

Labor’s spokesperson on Regional Communications, Stephen Jones MP, today called on Communications Minister Mitch Fifield to get regional media reform done before Christmas.

“Mr Fifield has the opportunity this week to get an important reform to media rules that has bi-partisan support through the Parliament.

“Whether he is serious about media reform or not – we will all know by the end of the week.

“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.

“The Minister cannot continue to hide behind the furphy that his failures are all Labor’s fault.

“Any Minister committed to reform would seize the bi-partisan opportunity offered to at least get this one measure through.

“We know that the Coalition is not up for the more comprehensive and holistic approach that the sector is crying out for, but that is not an excuse for policy paralysis.

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

“Media companies are facing some serious challenges and they are entitled to feel let down by this Minister who has so comprehensively failed them,” Mr Jones said.

SUNDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2016

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