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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 2840


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (10:47): Temporary Chair, I'd just like to answer one of the questions that was asked by you during the committee stage, before you entered into the chair, in relation to clause 3 of the amendments on sheet 8435. From memory, you were asking about the types of things that this money could be spent on and the grant criteria. This is probably a question that needs to go to the minister in some respects, because we need to make very clear that this money is being spent on public interest journalism. This is what this is for; it's not to offset the budgets that bigger organisations perhaps have from their parent bodies in the city. This is about supporting journalists here in the regions, to ensure that those regional communities get the news and the analysis that they deserve. Just to be clear: we need to make sure—and it is in here—that the following criteria are specified in relation to a person for the purposes of this grant:

(g) the person does not receive financial assistance from, and does not carry on its business with regard to the interests of, any of the following:

(i) a political party;

(ii) a trade union;

(iii) a superannuation fund;

(iv) a financial institution;

(v) a non-government organisation;

(vi) a policy lobby group.

This money needs to be spent on journalism. This money should be being spent on what it takes to make sure Australian communities know what's going on in their communities and what their government is doing, and to underpin their ability to do that. Most newspapers or radio stations have advertising and sell ads to keep the newspapers in print or the radio stations on air. Their advertising revenue is up to them, but how do we ensure the money from this bill is being spent on journalists and journalism?