Last night, the Senate supported a successful Labor amendment to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 to correct a legislative issue that was preventing eligible financial assistance from being paid to a regional broadcaster.
This amendment was actually first introduced by the Government in the House of Representatives to a separate omnibus Deregulation Bill that has, in various iterations, been hanging around for years.
However, that Bill has since stalled under this Minister, as has so much else in the Communications portfolio.
Labor was tired of waiting for this incompetent Minister to get his act together and that is why we introduced this amendment to get on with the job.
In seeking to explain himself, the embarrassed Minister bizarrely claimed his Deregulation Bill — which he hasn’t even brought on for debate in the Senate — has stalled because of Labor.
This is about as logical as claiming Labor forced the Minister to hand $30 million over to Foxtel and accept a pair of cufflinks in return.
The communications sector is tired of having a distracted Minister who has more interest in backroom numbers than his portfolio.
Australia can’t afford another three years of the Morrison Government’s dysfunction and Mitch Fifield’s legislative paralysis.