Senator Hanson announced she gave support to the changes in return for reforms to the ABC, greater community radio funding and foreign ownership reporting. Picture: Kym Smith
Senator Hanson announced she gave support to the changes in return for reforms to the ABC, greater community radio funding and foreign ownership reporting. Picture: Kym Smith

One Nation backs Turnbull Government’s media law reforms

A MAJOR hurdle for vital media law reforms has been passed as One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has swung her support behind the reforms.

It leaves just the three Nick Xenophon Team Senators to get behind to pass Senate - who said he was still considering his position.

Senator Hanson announced this evening she gave support to the changes in return for reforms to the ABC, greater community radio funding and foreign ownership reporting.

"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 wages and allowances are greater than $200,000, similar to what is being implement by the British Broadcasting Corporation," Senator Hanson said.

"The Government agreed to pursue a number of measures designed to assist the ABC in increasing its regional focus, as well as its financial transparency and political impartiality.

"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'."

She said the government had also agreed to provide an extra $12 million for community radio and its development.

"I have always been a big supporter of community radio, we need to ensure that Australian communities, both regional and city have access to a diverse and independent voice. More often than not community radio is that voice, so it is vitally important that they are supported and well-funded," she said.

A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Mitch Fifield confirmed the conditions of Senator Hanson's support had been agreed to.

Senator Hanson last month lashed out at ABC TV for not providing enough regional or rural coverage, but supported its regional radio services.

The senator has been a long-time critic of the ABC, particularly in regards to its coverage of her and her political party.

More than 25 media bosses, including the heads of News Corp, Foxtel, Fairfax Media, the Nine Network, Seven West Media, and Ten Network, were in Canberra in May to lobby for reform.

Their list includes the "two-out-of-three rule", which prevents a company controlling more than two of the three traditional segments of the media - radio, television and newspapers - in one market.

News Corp Australia


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