The Federal Labor Government’s proposed media reforms, which were introduced to the Parliament today, threaten regional television broadcasters.
The proposed abolition of the 75 per cent rule, which prohibits a regional television broadcaster from merging with a metropolitan based broadcaster, would allow national media giants to take over regional networks.
If this goes ahead there would be no guarantee that rural and regional news bulletins would be protected.
“Any relaxation to the amount of regional content will not be supported. I will fight any reduction to the amount of regional content on our televisions and radios. Any legislation that contributes to the dilution of local content needs to be challenged,” Senator McKenzie said.
“People in rural and regional areas deserve to see news, weather and sport that is relevant to them. Coverage of the Bendigo Spirit winning the WNBL final may only be shown on local television news, but I definitely want to see it.
“These media reforms that were supposed to protect media diversity run the risk or doing the exact opposite,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Australia has a diverse range of media and communication outlets across a range of technological platforms. As globalised access to news continues, the importance of localised news becomes an essential part of staying informed.
“These proposed reforms threaten the unique regional voice,” Senator McKenzie said.