Media reform hangs in the balance

Nicola Riches
By Nicola Riches | 20 April 2016
Communications minister Mitch Fifield (

Speculation is mounting this morning that the triggering of an election on July 2 will result in the delay of changes to laws surrounding media ownership regulation.

The SMH reports that the proposed laws – as set out by communications minister Mitch Fifield over the course of the past three months – will be “shelved until after the federal election” as Australia prepares for the first double dissolution since 1987.

Parliament will probably not sit again until May 2, the day before the budget, which gives little time for the measures to be passed by the Senate.

"The Government is committed to media reform and determined to legislate it. Our policy is unaltered. The question remains what is the Labor position," a spokesperson for Senator Fifield told the SMH.

Changes to the 75% audience reach rule and two-out-of-three cross-media ownership rule have been presented to parliament as part of communications minister Mitch Fifield's reform package.

Regional TV networks will be disappointed. A recent senate committee hearing outlined that they would “face a bleak future if the media reforms do not materialise”.

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