One Nation leader Pauline Hanson set to scupper ownership laws

“The greatest risk to media ­diversity is that without these ­reforms, Australian media companies risk losing further ground to foreign competition.”

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is preparing to torpedo the Turnbull’s government’s proposed changes to media ownership regulation, but will support TV licence fee reductions in the next budget.

With Labor and the Greens against the bill in its current form, the changes are unlikely to gain enough support to pass the upper house. Asked if One Nation will vote against the bill, Ms Hanson last night told The Australian: “I’m not making any comment.”

Any move by One Nation to kick the measure into the long grass will disappoint local media companies as they battle the stunning ascent of the Facebook-Google digital advertising duopoly.

The bulk of spending by advertisers in the online world is going to the duopoly. This matters ­because digital has become the Australian media sector’s biggest source of advertising revenue.

A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Mitch Fifield stressed the importance of ­addressing how the advent of high-speed internet has rendered laws governing the $14 billion advertising sector obsolete. “Media reform is vital to enable Australian companies to compete on an even playing field against foreign ­competitors such as Facebook and Google,” the spokeswoman said in a statement to The Australian.

“The greatest risk to media ­diversity is that without these ­reforms, Australian media companies risk losing further ground to foreign competition.”

 

Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/one-nation-leader-pauline-hanson-set-to-scupper-ownership-laws/news-story/0cfde6b76dfaa69778632b04177857e6