Today the Government voted against Labor's amendment that would have saved the two out of three cross-media rule from the scrap heap.
Without this rule there will be further consolidation of dominant voices in Australia's already heavily concentrated media market.
Labor has been consistent and clear in support for the elements of the media reform changes, with exception to the two out of three rule. Labor is committed to supporting the Australian media industry as well as fundamental diversity rules that safeguard our democracy.
Labor proposed an amendment to remove the two out of three rule from the Bill, in order to allow the passage of the other elements with Labor’s support. The Government voted down this amendment, forcing passage of the bill inclusive of repeal of the two out of three rule.
The Government insists that their package be dealt with as a whole and that Parliament can take it or leave it. If the Government refuses to drop its plan to repeal the 2 out of 3 rule then they can leave it.
The Government have shown they are completely unwilling to pass the elements that are agreed to by the vast majority of the parliament.
The industries so named ‘Golden Boy’, Mitch Fifield, will need to answer to the media industry if the proposed changes aren’t passed this sitting, because of his refusal to put forward the measures without holding the parliament hostage on the two out of three rule.
In its refusal to put forward measures without the two out of three rule attached, this Government has revealed it is content with making no progress on media reform.
The Government could’ve had the reach rule repealed at the end of last year with Labor’s support. Instead, the Government has been holding much needed industry reform captive over its obsession with repealing the 2 out of 3 cross media rule.
The Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield, has sat on his hands when it comes to passing media reform. After four long years as Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield has little to show for it.