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Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Page: 6715


Senator BILYK (Tasmania) (12:43): I rise today to speak on the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Anti-siphoning) Bill 2012. Australians love their sport. We are a nation of supporters and fans. Whether it is football, cricket, the Melbourne Cup or the Olympics, Australians will cheer until they are hoarse. They will laugh and cry in a common bond with each other. We celebrate the highest triumphs and commiserate over the most heart-wrenching defeats, and this government understands that. We understand that not all Australians can afford to or want to opt into subscription television services, and this is why a Labor government created the antisiphoning list in the first place: to ensure all Australians can have access to the sports that form a core part of our national identity. Twenty years later the government realises that the media environment is changing. Where there was merely a handful of television channels previously there are now many more, and digital TV is transforming the choice Australians have to watch sports, news and entertainment. Digital TV has completely altered the way the media landscape looks compared to when the Broadcasting Services Act was introduced.

This bill seeks to preserve the existing arrangement whereby subscription television broadcasters are prevented from acquiring the rights to events—

Debate interrupted.