The government struck a deal with Nick Xenophon to secure passage of the bill. (AAP: Mick Tsikas)
Australia’s media industry looks set for a major shake-up, after the Federal Government finally struck a deal to pass a suite of changes.
- The ‘two out of three’ rule will be scrapped, as will the ‘reach rule’ under the proposed changes
- Key to the passage of the bill was the support of Senator Nick Xenophon and his team
- Pauline Hanson’s One Nation was also involved in the deal and wants an investigation into the ABC
The Coalition has been negotiating with the Senate crossbench over the proposal for weeks, and has now managed to hammer out a final agreement.
Under the changes the ‘two out of three’ rule will be scrapped, allowing a company to own a TV station, newspaper and radio station in a single market.
The ‘reach rule’ which prevented a single TV broadcaster from reaching more than 75 per cent of the population will also go.
There will also be a change to revenue-based licence fees, which will be replaced by a lower spectrum charge.
Key to the passage of the legislation has been the support of senator Nick Xenophon and his team.
Senator Xenophon said the negotiations were “the most difficult and protracted” he had ever been involved in, but key to his support was a fund for regional journalism.
“I and my colleagues welcome the Government’s commitment to implement a regional and small publishers jobs and innovation package worth $60.4 million over three years,” he said.
The fund will include money for 200 cadetships of as much as $40,000 each, as well as grants for small publishers that will be capped at $1 million.