Introduction of Media Reform Legislation

14 September 2017:

Fairfax Media Limited today welcomed the Federal Government’s introduction of the Broadcast and Content Reform Package legislation. 

Fairfax Media Chief Executive Officer Greg Hywood said: “We welcome the introduction of the Federal Government’s media reform legislation today. Fairfax Media has long supported the modernising of media laws to better reflect the current media environment. 

“We believe this comprehensive package of reforms will create a competitive environment for Australia’s media sector. In particular we note:

  • removal of the artificial 2/3 restriction which limits an Australian company from owning more than two of a radio licence, TV broadcast licence or newspaper in the same market; 

  • removal of the restriction on TV licence holders to 75 per cent of the potential national audience; 

  • provision of an investment fund for regional media to help with transition to digital and other innovation; and

  • employer subsidies for hiring new cadets in regional areas, including a limited number of journalism scholarships at universities to be granted.

 “We congratulate the Prime Minister The Hon Malcolm Turnbull, and the Minister for Communications Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield, for bringing media legislation into the modern age. It is no small feat having the sector united on what is the best legislative setting for the future. Fairfax acknowledges that there was broad support by the Senate crossbenchers. 

“Mention must also be made of the efforts of Nick Xenophon and his team for getting behind and pushing for material support for regional journalism.” 

In closing, Mr Hywood said: “Fairfax will act in the best interests of shareholders to take advantage of any opportunities created by the changes.”