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Interim financial relief for Australian broadcasters as Labor engages in partisanship

The Turnbull Government will provide interim financial relief to Australian broadcasters in the wake of Labor’s refusal to back reforms that support the viability of the Australian media industry and secure thousands of jobs.

The Government will use its regulatory powers to remove licence fees payable by Australian commercial free-to-air television and radio broadcasters for the 2016-17 financial year as a one-off relief measure worth around $127 million to the industry. 

This urgent relief will assist Australian businesses that are under competitive pressure from foreign tech companies and online streaming services.

Labor’s political gamesmanship in the Senate means the media industry is forced to wait another 40 days until Parliament returns to consider media reform legislation.

Permanent financial relief will be provided through the Government’s Media Reform package, which has the unanimous support of the industry, if passed by the Senate as a whole.

Last week, Labor twice voted in the House of Representatives against the entire package, despite claiming they support elements of it. 

Unlike Labor, all other groupings in the Senate have been engaging in constructive discussions with the Government which continue.

The Turnbull Government has a holistic and comprehensive reform plan to secure a viable future for Australian media organisations. In contrast the Labor Party has no plan, other than to engage in needless partisanship as they have done with school funding and NDIS funding.