Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for Communications

Minister for the Arts

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Doorstop Lateline - David Lipson

23 February 2016

E & OE

Subject: Media Reform

LIPSON:

We've been waiting for these media reforms for years, how close are we?

FIFIELD:

It's an exciting time to be a Minister for Communications because there is the opportunity to bring Australia's media laws into the 21st Century, to make sure that they reflect not the analogue world, but to capture and cater for the world that we live in today.

The Government has made clear, I've made clear, that the 75% reach rule and the '2 out of 3' rule are redundant. The way people access media is changing and they have options they are availing themselves of. So bit-by-bit, day-by-day, those laws are being rendered redundant.

It's important as we look to reform media law that we make sure that we have good local content protections in regional areas. We are currently going through the internal processes of government and once those are concluded, we'll have an announcement about the detail.

LIPSON:

When can we expect to see the legislation?

FIFIELD:

We are working hard, we are going through the appropriate internal processes you have in government. So not long to wait.

LIPSON:

Will we see these media reforms actually put in place before the election?

FIFIELD:

I'm aiming not to let the grass grow on media reform. So I would like to introduce legislation to the Parliament as soon as is practical.

LIPSON:

And the safe guards for local content you mentioned. I know you probably can't go into too much detail but, will the Nationals get what they have been wanting?

FIFIELD:

I think regional Liberals and regional Nationals want the same thing. There's an incredible degree of unanimity amongst the Coalition Parties about what constitutes good local protection. And I'm very very confident that we will have a package that enjoys broad support.

Media contact: Justine Sywak | 0448 448 487 | Justine.Sywak@communications.gov.au

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