MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
MARK DREYFUS MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY GENERAL
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
Labor welcomes the announcement that the ACCC will move to impose a mandatory code of conduct to govern commercial dealings between digital platforms and news media companies.
Labor had called for the mandatory code to be fast tracked and is pleased the Government has responded.
It is appropriate that the independent ACCC oversee this important work to prevent a repeat of the ideologically-motivated approach this Government took in relation to the poorly-conceived Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.
It is disappointing that it has taken a global pandemic for this Government to find a sense of urgency about the state of Australia’s news media.
Australian media was doing it tough before COVID-19.
This Liberal-National Government has ignored calls from industry and Labor to overhaul the outdated policy and regulatory framework for years.
Australians need and deserve a strong, independent media landscape.
Australian media companies must get a decent return for their investment in public interest journalism from digital platforms such as Google and Facebook.
There is still much to work through before this code of conduct will operate to support the news media, and still much on the media reform to-do list – which the Minister’s so-called roadmap doesn’t canvass.
Public interest journalism and Australians’ right to know has never been under more pressure both commercially and from attacks by this Morrison Government obsessed with secrecy.