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Thursday, 15 June 2006
Page: 133

Senator SANDY MACDONALD (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence) (7:30 PM) —I thank senators for their support of this legislation. I will make a couple of points in closing the debate. The Broadcasting Services Amendment (Subscription Television Drama and Community Broadcasting Licences) Bill 2006 amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, the BCA, to increase flexibility in the operation of the 10 per cent requirement for new spending on drama on subscription television. The bill amends the BCA to allow preproduction expenditure on script development to be claimed in the financial year it is incurred rather than when principal photography commences. It also provides that expenditure in excess of the annual 10 per cent quota be carried forward to the next year to encourage a higher level of investment.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, the ACMA, is provided with a discretion to deal with changes in the corporate arrangements of community broadcasting licensees, without putting those licences at risk. The bill also makes a minor amendment to the definition of drama program and has retrospective application from 1 January 2006. The proposed amendments have the support of the subscription television broadcasting sector and the production industry. Those are the comments I would like to make to close the debate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.