Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam. 17 March 2013.
The Greens will not be bullied by big media interests or constrained by arbitrary timelines on Labor’s media reform proposals, communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
“We need to focus on getting it right – regardless of ultimatums from the Minister and hysteria from certain media proprietors. Our overriding objective is to protect media diversity in Australia.”
“The Minister has provided an extraordinarily short time frame to analyse the proposals but we have identified concerns we will raise in the committee hearings on Monday and Tuesday, and take up in the chamber if necessary.
“The legislation may lead to the establishment of multiple press councils competing in a self-regulatory race to the bottom. There is nothing to suggest that the fragmentation of the Press Council into a number of smaller entities will provide adequate self-regulation.
“The Public Interest Media Advocate also has wide discretion that could fail to address further consolidation of media ownership; including protecting local and regional news. The package must address the level of media ownership concentration in Australia, which is amongst the highest in the Western world.
“In addition, Australian content producers could be disadvantaged through exploitation of flexibility provisions in production quotas. We need to see meaningful quotas and guidelines to foster local production, in particular local drama.
“There are some definite positives in the proposals, including enshrining the right of SBS and the ABC to operate online in their charters, and reserving a dedicated digital frequency for community broadcasting.”