Independents reject media reforms

2013-03-19_0115The government’s hurried media reforms hang in the balance after key independent Rob Oakeshott indicated he would not support the legislation.

But the Greens have said they would support them if the government agrees to amendments that limit the number of press councils and tighten the public interest test for media mergers.

That’s despite Senator Conroy saying last week they would not agree to changes.

“I won’t be supporting any of the six bills and I’ve informed the Prime Minister of that today, both verbally and in writing,” Oakeshott told ABC’s 7:30.

“There’s enormous dissent not only from proprietors which is the least of the worry, but from key regulators and also from content providers.

“For the first time in a long time the majority of writers, producers, directors, actors are all saying there’s issues in there for them as well.”

Independent Tony Windsor also indicated he did not support the package in its current form.

“I don’t think the numbers are there for a great portion of this to get through,” he said of the six bills on ABC TV.

Greens leader Christine Milne said it was clear this would be the last chance for change because the coalition was “riding high in the polls and have no intention of moving on media reform”.

Senator Conroy is refusing to budge on the reform, saying the bills will be scrapped if they are not accepted in their current form.

But Julia Gillard has indicated she is open to “sensible suggestions” to amend the plans. Finding room to move may be engulfed by bigger problems as support for her leadership frays.

Yesterday media bosses from television and print almost unanimously told the Joint Senate Committee they did not support the government’s current plans.

Source:, ABC, The Australian


  1. jezza the first original one

    @carolemorrissey….. Rather than the origins of the proposed legislation or the rights/wrongs of it, just think about the tactics being used to push it through.

    The media are hostile, so why crank them up even more. The govt are held in place by a wafer thin maj and dependent upon cross benchers. It is almost political suicide the approach taken with this…. and apart from Mr Conroy, guess who will cop all the flak and blame if this fails….mmmm The PM….its a set up

  2. carolemorrissey

    He has said in a few interviews that it was first brought up during Howard’s time, so it is not a new thing and been on the cards for a while. Some newspapers tend to be so biased towards the Libs, it’s not funny.

    • Some reportage has been hysterical. But the government only responded to the Finkelstein and Convergence reports with this proposed legislation last week and want it rushed through by this week.

  3. jezza the first original one

    If I was the PM I would sack him for instigating a battle with the press/media in an election year. I think if this goes belly up it is a deliberate plan to embarrass the Julia Gillard led govt and remove her from the PMs job before the election.

    If you are gonna piss off the press/media, timing is everything, best bet is immediately after a good election win

  4. The project last night discussing this was painful, Steve price interrogating conroy over it, when it was clear Steve knew absolutely nothing about even the basics of the bill.

  5. jezza the first original one

    This Conroy bloke in political terms (not personal) is a fool. Having an all or nothing approach in a limited time span is just dumb

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