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Broadcasting Services Amendment (Material of Local Significance) Bill 2013

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2010-2011-2012-2013

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Material of Local Significance) Bill 2013

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Xenophon)

 



 

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Material of Local Significance) Bill 2013

Background

The purpose of this Bill is to include regional South Australia under Section 43A of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 so that it is covered by the provisions relating to regional aggregated commercial television broadcasting licences . Under the Act, these licences have specific local content requirements set out by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

 

1.       Short title

This clause is a formal provision and specifies that the short title of the Bill, once enacted, may be cited as the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Material of Local Significance) Act 2013.

 

2.       Commencement

This clause provides for the commencement of the Act on the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

 

3.       Schedules

This clause states that each Act specified within a Schedule to this Bill is amended or repealed as set out by the provisions of the Bill.

4.       Schedule 1

This Schedule amends the Broadcasting Services Act to insert a new paragraph (h) into subsection 43A(2). The effect of this is to include Regional South Australia in the areas to which regional aggregated commercial television broadcasting licences apply.

Under the Act, broadcasters holding these licences must meet specific conditions set out by ACMA regarding local content and ‘material of local significance’. This will ensure that regional South Australians continue to benefit from news and programming that is relevant to their communities.

The areas currently listed under subsection 43A(2) (excluding Tasmania, which was added in 2008) were originally set out in the Act in the late 1980s. Consideration of the markets in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory was intended to take place following this, but never occurred [1] . Given the vast differences in today’s broadcasting environment, it is vital that regional markets have equal and adequate protection.



 

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Material of Local Significance) Bill 2013

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill/Legislative Instrument

The Bill amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to include regional South Australia under Section 43A so that it is covered by the provisions relating to regional aggregated commercial television broadcasting licences. Under the Act, broadcasters holding these licences must meet specific local content requirements set out by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

 

Human rights implications

This Bill engages the right to enjoy and benefit from culture, as set out in article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) .

 

The Bill seeks to maintain this right by ensuring that regional communities, beyond those already included in the Act, continue to have access to broadcasted content and material that is locally relevant and meaningful to them.

 

Conclusion

The Bill is compatible with human rights as it seeks to enforce the rights of regional South Australians to have access to culturally relevant content. 

 

 

Senator Nick Xenophon, Independent Senator for South Australia




[1] Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, Broadcasting In Australia 1989 , Sydney, July 1990, p. 3.