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Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Page: 2303

Mr MURPHY (Reid) (13:52): Shortly, the findings of the Finkelstein media inquiry and the Convergence Review will be known to the public. These reviews have great relevance to our media ownership laws in Australia. I was very alarmed this week to see our largest media proprietor, Mr Rupert Murdoch, launching his Sun on Sunday newspaper in the UK. This paper replaces the News of the World newspaper which was the subject of the phone-hacking scandal in the UK. I remind this parliament that Mr Murdoch accepted no personal accountability for the shocking assault on the public interest in the UK, yet he is going ahead launching a new paper to replace his old paper whilst in the midst of further scandals—in fact, criminality—in relation to the provision of money to police officers in the UK.

Our government needs to have a very strict public interest test for media ownership in our country. I exhort the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Prime Minister to ensure that there is a strict public interest test. Mr Murdoch has 70 per cent of the metropolitan and daily newspapers in Australia and extensive electronic media interests—great influence over our democracy. (Time expired)