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Paul Fletcher: “Go for growth”

Govt hints local quotas may be expanded, but not necessarily removed.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has signalled local quotas for streaming services are needed, while industry has pushed for level playing fields.

But it isn’t clear if he is also advocating to drop Children’s TV obligations for commercial broadcasters.

It comes after Seven CEO James Warburton indicated Seven would stop producing Children’s TV unless the government acted. Nine and 10 are also pushing to drop local quotas for Children’s TV.

“Traditional broadcast television is facing sharp declines in viewer numbers and revenues – yet existing regulations require industry participants to spend millions on shows which fewer and fewer people are watching,” Minister Fletcher told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Rather than the same tired old conversation about defending existing patches where audiences are shrinking, we should be talking about how we can go for growth – so that there are more Australian stories seen not just on Australian screens but around the world,” he said.

Screen Australia and the Australian Communications and Media Authority are jointly preparing an options paper for the government.

But Shadow Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland and Shadow Minister for the Arts Tony Burke claims the govt has fidgeted while the industry awaits.

“The Government announced the review almost three years ago, yet the rules have still not been modernised,” they said in a joint statement.

“The Minister for Communications and the Arts was appointed nine months ago, and the final report of the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry was released seven months ago, yet still there’s no sign of an options paper to look at how to best support Australian screen stories in a modern, multi-platform environment.

“Unfortunately this Government’s ongoing delay is causing growing confusion about the state of media policy in the portfolio.”

4 Responses

  1. Sounds like excuses to me, personally we aren’t getting Netflix etc for streaming kids shows although there might be some incidental use, most of that we are getting from abc iview kids section, Netflix etc we’re using to fill the gap in overseas dramas so we can watch those while the reality shows are playing out night after night on the network channels.

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