One Nation makes deal on media reform. ABC “under attack” says Greens.

  • One Nation agrees to media reforms.
  • Competitive neutrality inquiry into ABC & SBS
  • ABC / SBS to publish salaries of staff / talent over $200,000
  • ABC Charter to include “Fair & Balanced”
  • More rural services by ABC
  • Foreign ownership at 2.5% must be put on public register
  • More funding for community radio licenses worth $12m over 4 years

The government’s push for media reforms is a step closer after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson agreed to support the government’s proposals today.

Senator Hanson says One Nation has secured a number of amendments from the government including changes at the ABC, more funding for community radio and tougher restrictions on foreign ownership.

This means the government will likely get its changes through Parliament because the Nick Xenophon Team, Derryn Hinch and David Leyonhjelm have been on board.

“The government’s comprehensive and holistic package of reforms seeks to give Australian media organisations a fighting chance by freeing them from outdated laws and regulations,” Senator Fifield said in a statement.

“The reforms will give media organisations more options as to how to configure themselves to better support their viability.

“Senate colleagues, apart from Labor, have been involved in active discussions with the government on media reform,” Senator Fifield said.

“As has been the case for the life of this Senate, it is independent and minor party colleagues who are prepared to constructively engage. Given Labor is more interested in playing politics while risking jobs and livelihoods, the government will continue to negotiate with minor party and independent Senate colleagues to secure the passage of this important legislation.”

Senator Hanson said in a statement, “One Nation has been at the forefront calling for more transparency of wages at the ABC and we have received assurances from the government that they will be asking the ABC to start providing details of the wages and conditions of all staff, who’s (sic) wages and allowances are greater than $200,000, similar to what is being implement by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

“The government has also agreed to undertake a competitive neutrality inquiry into the ABC and to legislate a requirement for the ABC to be ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’.”

The deal has angered ABC management, given public broadcasting had nothing to do with the government’s original proposals.

But Nick Xenophon wants to have a close look at the deal before now guaranteeing his support.

The Greens aren’t happy about the government’s deal with One Nation about media reform.

“I think this is an attack on the ABC, of course, and the SBS,” Sarah Hanson-Young says.

“This is an attack on [streaming services] iview and SBS On Demand.”

Source: Fairfax


  1. This is nothing more than One Nation’s bitter attempt at revenge on the ABC after a number of investigations (Four Corners/7.30) into their highly dubious campaign funding tactics, misleading and ripping off prospective One Nation candidates, etc. Their thinking is also extremely muddled. On the one hand they’re claiming to be concerned about regional news coverage, on the other their colluding with the Libs, who have repeatedly instigated major cuts to the ABC – and it’s the ABC that does more to deliver regional news than any other body. Hanson and Co are also colluding with the government to pave the way for increased media ownership by Murdoch. So much for her claims to support media diversity, or to represent the interests of “ordinary Australians”.

  2. Judging by comments I have seen in other forums recently the ABC do seem to have a PR problem with certain sectors of the public.The ABC is tax payer funded and thus run like a Government Department so I cant see how the ABC can see themselves as a protected species when cut-backs are front and centre of political planning, the news media in the ABC have tried to make themselves look independent but the trend to run a political commentary rather than present the news has not helped when presenting a politically neutral identity.

  3. jezza the first original one

    It’s great to see the ABC reined in a bit. While the vast majority of their reporting is balanced, their drama output is often left leaning, a lot of their guest commentators are left leaning and their internal culture resembles a hard left politically correct self serving council.

  4. Nose and face come to mind. The very people she represents (bushies) tend to love the ABC. It is their lifeblood and she is on a path to gutting the ABC of its role in meeting the needs of these people for news and entertainment in areas that the commercial networks are not interested in.

  5. It is also….my …public broadcaster….ABC/SBS…..leave it alone…already too much tweaking and fiddling….and the last persons finger I want to see in the pie…is Pauline Hanson’s….

  6. “The government has also agreed to undertake a competitive neutrality inquiry into the ABC and to legislate a requirement for the ABC to be ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’.”
    OMG, here we go again. How many more ‘enquiries’?
    etc., etc., etc.

    • Bolt Report gained huge airtime when it moved to Sky News – from weekly to five times a week. But it lost a huge amount of its former Ten audience too… averages about 40-50k a night. In the scheme of things, that’s absolutely tiny!

    • (To be clear: I intended that as a response to an earlier comment.

      Let’s just leave it at that, since I’ve spent far too much time the last few days seeing reports from the ground and discussing actual neo-Nazism, neo-Fascism, and other expressions of far-right-wing belief with Americans who actually stood face-to-face against it, to want to waste my time dealing with the lazy low-grade kind used by pundits here in Aus to boost circulation, page-clicks, and ratings…)

  7. Democrats in the States, Labor parties in the UK and here at home are more Neo -Communist than than ever,shows like Q&A highlight just how far to the left Aunty has travelled.
    Just adding even one slightly centrist or right programme may placate but currently any news commentary at all is very skewered and the once great ABC is merely a media outlet for left

    • jezza the first original one

      There is a lot of Neo-Stalinist supression right now with people who speak out getting thrown in jail for fake offences. There is a mob mentality that if you don’t agree with vociferous minorities that you are some sort of evil dictator, rather than just someone who simply doesn’t agree with their narrow world view..

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