Regulation Impact Statement Updates

Official website for publishing regulatory impact analysis information for regulatory decisions announced by the Australian Government, COAG and COAG Councils.

Changes to Media Ownership and Control Rules

Aust Gov
20th July 2016

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Communications and the Arts

On 2 March 2016 the Minister for Communications introduced the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Media Reform) Bill. The bill removes two media ownership and control rules that prevent a person, in their own right or as a director of one or more companies from controlling:

  • more than two of the three regulated media platforms (commercial television, commercial radio and associated newspapers) in any commercial radio licence area (the 2 out of 3 rule); and
  • commercial television licences whose combined licence area populations exceed 75 per cent of the Australian population (the 75 per cent audience reach rule).

It also imposes new local television content requirements on regional commercial television licensees when they become part of a commonly controlled group of licences that collectively reach more than 75 per cent of the Australian population.

The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) prepared by the Department of Communications and the Arts was assessed as compliant with the Government’s RIS requirements but not consistent with best practice because the level of analysis was not commensurate with the likely impacts on businesses, individuals and competition and the views of stakeholders on the specifics of the preferred options were not clearly identified.

The proposals are expected to increase regulatory burden by $3.51 million on an annualised basis. The regulatory costs were agreed with the OBPR.

As the proposal has been assessed by the OBPR as having a substantial and measureable impact on the media sector and the economy, the Australian Government’s RIS process requires a post‑implementation review to be completed within five years of being implemented.

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