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Family First to support Government on media ownership bill.

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Bendigo Phone: 03 5443 9055 Fax: 03 5443 9736 P/O Box 338 Bendigo Vic 3552

Canberra Phone: 02 6277 2230 Fax: 02 6277 8564 Suite R2 91 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Email:

11th October 2006

Family First to support Government on media ownership bill Australian democracy will be diminished substantially following Family First Senator Stephen Fielding’s decision to support the Howard Government’s Cross Media Ownership Bill, according to Bendigo Federal MP Steve Gibbons.

Mr Gibbons said Senator Fielding's decision to support the Government ensures that the Media Ownership Bill will pass the Senate.

He said the passage of this Bill will create the greatest concentration of media ownership anywhere in the free world.

“Senator Fieldings sell out proves beyond all doubt that the so called Family First Party are in reality just apologists for the Howard Government”.

“The ability of one proprietor to own television stations and major metropolitan newspapers in one market will reduce diversity of opinion and undermine our democracy”.

“The protections claimed by the Government to safeguard democracy are totally inadequate”.

“For almost two decades the cross media laws have promoted and protected media diversity”.

“John Howard has today handed increased power to some of the most powerful people in Australia and at no stage has he answered the most basic question, why?”