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Workers come last as Fairfax bosses clean house for Rinehart

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 18 Jun 2012

The Australian Greens expressed shock and disappointment today at the news almost 2000 Fairfax workers face the sack.

"Our first thoughts are for the many Fairfax employees and their families who now face major uncertainty and insecurity," said the Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam.

"We are greatly concerned about what these changes mean for the future of quality journalism in Australia. Combined with the creeping acquisition of Fairfax by Gina Rinehart, this is shaping up to be a bad week for media diversity and independence.

"In Senate Question Time today I asked whether the Australian Government would bring forward some of the proposed reforms in the convergence review and investigate ways to support media diversity and alternative platforms.

"While many commentators point to the internet as the source of diversity, the layoffs at Fairfax will leave a huge hole in the media landscape. While one business model is coming apart before our eyes, it is not at all certain what the new models look like, or whether current affairs and political reporting will simply slip beneath the waves.

"If this is truly the twilight of the print age, we look to Fairfax to provide re-skilling opportunities for those in the print shops who will face an acutely limited jobs market. We urge the Government to do what it can to provide training and income support to those workers pursuing new skills for a new career."


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