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Doorstop Press Gallery

JOURNALIST

Can I just quickly ask you about the media reforms, with the big bosses coming here today, is it likely that the crossbench will be persuaded to support this?

FIFIELD

Well, I think that the fact that we have the leaders of the Australian media industry coming to Canberra and speaking with one voice is significant. They don’t always agree on everything but when it comes to our media reform package, they are all on the same page. And that’s because they recognise that this package is all about making Australian media organisations stronger. And I want to pay credit to the leaders of Australia’s media that they have been able to look beyond their own legitimate interests to the health and wellbeing of the Australian media sector as a whole. 

JOURNALIST

And how are the negotiations progressing with the crossbench on this?

FIFIELD

Look, having good discussions with my crossbench colleagues. I’ve got to say I’ve always found that they’ve been open to good propositions and we’ve had some good successes with the Senate crossbench, to date but we’ve got some work to do and we’ll do that.

JOURNALIST

It looks like One Nation support might be crucial to passing this, but they’ve announced they won’t support any of the Government’s bills unless there’s a funding cut to the ABC. What’s your response?

FIFIELD

We laid out the funding for the ABC in the Budget before last on a triennium funding basis.  So the funding for the ABC is there. We have a range of legislative propositions before the Senate and we ask our crossbench colleagues to look at those on their merits.

JOURNALIST

Would you be willing to have another look or consider a possible funding cut to the ABC?

FIFIELD

The funding for the ABC was laid out in the Budget before last.  Colleagues will always put their views forward. We’ll always talk to colleagues. But we put our legislation forward and ask that it be considered on its merits.

JOURNALIST

The major telcos and internet companies are also meeting with the Government today about how to stop cybercrime, how important is it that Australia gets on top of that?

FIFIELD

Well look, cybercrime probably costs our nation about a billion dollars a year, it’s a collective effort, government, industry, business and households to make sure that we’re doing all we can to protect ourselves against cybercrime. There are good practical and straightforward things that businesses and families can do to protect themselves.  And today’s meeting will also be an opportunity for information to be shared about how we can all better protect ourselves.

Thanks very much.

JOURNALIST

Thank you.

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