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Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2002 [No. 2]

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2002-2003

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BROADCASTING SERVICES AMENDMENT

(MEDIA OWNERSHIP) BILL 2002 [NO. 2]

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the

Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts,

the Honourable Daryl Williams, AM QC MP)

 

 



 

BROADCASTING SERVICES AMENDMENT

(MEDIA OWNERSHIP) BILL 2002 [NO. 2]

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO BE MOVED ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The proposed amendments will:

 

·         delay the requirement for the ABA to impose a licence condition on commercial television broadcasting licensees operating in Tasmania and in mainland State capitals in relation to material of local significance from 1 July 2004 until 12 months after the commencement of the Bill;

 

·         correct cross-references in the Bill; and

 

·         delay both the requirement for the Minister to cause to be conducted a review of the ownership and control provisions until three years after the commencement of the Bill, and the date for submitting the report of the review so that there continues to be a six-month period between the deadline for the review and the tabling of the report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The proposed amendments are not expected to have any significant financial impact on Commonwealth expenditure or revenue.

 



NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

AMENDMENTS (1)-(2)

 

Items 1AA and 1AB of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2002 [No. 2] (the Bill) will insert new sections 43A and 43B of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA).  New sections 43A and 43B require the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) to impose a licence condition on commercial television broadcasting licensees operating in regional aggregated and metropolitan licence areas to broadcast a minimum level of material of local significance.

 

The specified date for this licence condition for most regional aggregated markets is

1 August 2003 (proposed new section 43A of the BSA).  Following a public inquiry, the ABA has already imposed an additional licence condition on all regional commercial television licensees in the regional aggregated markets (with the exception of Tasmania), effective from 6 July 2003.

 

Tasmania and the metropolitan licence areas (the mainland State capitals) were not included in the initial ABA inquiry into local content in aggregated markets, and the applicable date for the imposition of this new local content licence condition for these markets was therefore set at 1 July 2004 (proposed new sections 43A and 43B of the BSA).  At the time this date was set the ABA would have had approximately 12 months to undertake the necessary investigations and public consultations prior to determining the most appropriate licence conditions for those markets.

 

Due to the passage of time, it is necessary for a new date to be set for these provisions.  This revised date will provide the ABA with sufficient time to conduct an appropriate investigation for Tasmania and the metropolitan licence areas.  Amendments (1) and (2) will amend the Bill to delay the requirement for the ABA to impose a licence condition relating to material of local significance on commercial television broadcasting licensees operating in Tasmania, and in the metropolitan licence areas, from 1 July 2004 until 12 months after the commencement of the Bill.

 

AMENDMENTS (3)-(4)

 

Amendments (3) and (4) are technical amendments to correct cross-references in the Bill.

 

AMENDMENTS (5)-(6)

 

The Bill requires the Minister to cause to be conducted a review of Part 5 of the BSA before 31 December 2006 (Part 5 contains the provisions restricting ownership and control of the media).  A report of the review must also be tabled in Parliament no later than 30 June 2007 (proposed new section 78A of the BSA).  If the Bill had been passed by Parliament in June 2003 the review would have been conducted approximately three years after the commencement of the new provisions.  This would have been an appropriate time for such a review, as the media market would have had sufficient time to adapt to the new ownership rules.

 

Due to the passage of time, it is necessary to extend the date for the review of Part 5 of the BSA.  Amendment (5) will amend the Bill to delay the requirement for the Minister to cause to be conducted a review of Part 5 until three years after the commencement of the Bill.  Amendment (6) will amend the Bill to delay the date for submitting the report of the review so that there continues to be a six-month period between the deadline for the review and the tabling of the report.