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Greens welcome the release of the Media Reform Green Paper

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 27 Nov 2020

Greens Media and Communications Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“We have seen two positive steps forward on media reform from the Government today; the announcement that there will be further investment in public interest journalism through the establishment of the PING Trust and
the announcement that the Government is intending to introduce Australian content obligations for online video streaming services.

“While these are positive steps forward, we will consult with stakeholders and the community and consider the details of the proposals before coming to a final position on the reforms.”

PING Trust
“The PING Fund has played an important role in supporting public interest journalism and rural and regional news. I’m delighted to see that the Government is proposing an extension of this fund that will be able to support the future of public interest journalism in Australia.

“Funding through the original PING Fund was used to save the AAP from closure earlier this year after the Greens made the protection of AAP a key priority before opening any negotiations with the Government on the News Media Code.

“AAP plays an essential role in the Australian media landscape and I hope to see the long term future of AAP secured through this trust.

Local content obligations for online video streaming services
“There is good news for the Australian screen industry at the end of an extremely tough year. We welcome the introduction of local content quotas for online video streaming services. Not only is the telling of Australian stories on our screens essential in shaping our national identity and reflecting the diversity of our community but local productions create Australian jobs.

“Reform to regulate online streaming services in Australia is well overdue. The Greens have long been calling for the Government to regulate streaming giants like Netflix that are making billions of dollars from Australian subscribers without any obligation to host any Australian content on their screens.

“The Greens already have a motion before the Senate next week calling on the Government to take action and regulate online video streaming services. I call on other Senators to show their support for the Australian screen industry and support this motion.

“The question of the rate of investment obligation on streaming services will be crucial to the success of this policy reform and I urge the Government to look around the world for effective examples to follow. France has recently brought in a quota for 20% of local revenue to be spent on local productions and I hope to see Australia go down a similar path. Sub quotas to ensure that streaming services are commissioning drama, documentary and children’s content will also be an important part of policy discussions.

“There is a lot of detail to be considered in this proposal and we will be working with stakeholders in the industry over the coming months to ensure that we are able to get the best outcomes to tell Australian stories and secure Australian jobs."

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