GOVT TRIES AGAIN WITH REGIONAL BILL

The ABC commitment to regional and rural Australia is bigger, deeper and more enduring than any other broadcast media, despite continued cuts to its budget.

The Federal Government is again trying to compel the ABC to further increase its regional coverage and involvement.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has re-introduced legislation to require two ABC board members to have regional links or experience and the creation of a regional advisory council to reflect the views of local communities.

The ABC board would have to consult the council on services to regional Australia.

Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Rural and Regional Measures) Bill 2019 was introduced on July 31st.

This is the second time the Coalition has tried to introduce such measures – the first was in late 2017.

The ABC says it will always prioritise its investment in regional and rural Australia, continuing to offer unparalleled service while commercial media retreats from the regions.

We say this is an unnecessary and questionable bill that seeks to create another means of exerting political pressure on the ABC. We urge you to read the Bill and tell your member of Parliament what you think of it.