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Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Page: 123


Mr Murphy asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, in writing, on 29 March 2007:

(1)   Has the Minister read the Productivity Commission report into Broadcasting, published in April 2000; if not, why not.

(2)   Is the Minister aware of that part of the report which states that a “media-specific public interest test in the Trade Practices Act is required immediately” and that “[o]nce the new media-specific public interest test is in place and new entry has established a more competitive atmosphere for Australian media, the cross-media rules should be repealed”; if not, why not.

(3)   How does the Minister reconcile the apparent conflict between the Productivity Commission’s conclusions and the Government’s recent cross-media ownership reforms reflected in the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2006.


Mr McGauran (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) —The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   The Government’s long-standing media policy has now been implemented with the passage of the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Act 2006. The Government does not intend to reconcile this policy with the contents of a seven year old report that does not recognise the current state of Australia’s media industry and regulations.