MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
SENATE SLAPS DOWN FLETCHER TO SAVE COMMUNITY TV
In a stunning slap down of Minister Paul Fletcher, Government Senators last night supported amendments to keep community TV for three more years.
Despite the Minister’s bone-headed determination to kick community TV off-air for good, the Senate passed an amendment to the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 granting Channels 31 Melbourne and Geelong and Channel 44 Adelaide a three year licence extension. The amendment was carried with the support of Government, Labor and crossbench Senators.
The community TV saga has laid bare the mess created by the hapless Minister Fletcher. Twelve months ago, the Minister declared he would not consider a further licence extension for community TV, only to announce a one year extension at the eleventh hour.
The amendment that has now passed the Parliament shows the Minister can’t be trusted to exercise his Ministerial discretion over community TV in accordance with the objects of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and the Radiocommunications Act 1992, which include encouraging localism as well as the efficient use of the radiofrequency spectrum.
Government support for this amendment is a cry for help: Save us from this mess of the Minister’s own making!
Labor is proud to have backed community TV every step of the way. We moved a successful motion in the Senate, made representations in the House, and moved an amendment to keep to keep community TV on air until there is an alternative use for the spectrum.
This Government’s inept handling of community TV has caused needless uncertainty for the sector, contributed to the closure of stations in other capital cities and constitutes an act of vandalism in the Communications Portfolio.
Labor congratulates the community TV sector staff, producers and volunteers for their strong campaign and ongoing advocacy to #KeepTVLocal.
WEDNESDAY, 23 JUNE 2021