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Government response to Digital Platforms Inquiry misses the mark

After dragging its feet for over half a year, the Morrison Government has finally delivered its response to the Final Report of the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry.

While its findings were broad-ranging, the recommendations do not go anywhere near far enough to restore funding to the ABC and SBS, protect local content quotas and fund public interest journalism, said Senator for SA and Greens’ Spokesperson for Communications Sarah Hanson-Young.

“Despite weeks of chest-thumping, the Morrison Government has buckled to the pressure of the tech giants in its lacklustre response to the review,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“The recommendations from the ACCC were modest at best. Yet, the Liberals could barely commit to implementing them. Instead, they’ve kicked the can down the road by announcing yet another review and yet more consultation.

“The Government has side-stepped much needed reform to protect Australian journalism and content. Everyday Australians deserve to know that regardless of how they consume their news and entertainment that it is factual, quality and is a good dose of Australian made.

“We know that Australian content and children’s content must be protected, to ensure that Australian voices and stories continue to be heard. We also know that streaming video on demand (SVOD) services don’t abide by the same rules on local content as other players.

“The Greens will fight hard in the Parliament for proper protections and support for Australian journalists and content creators.

“There have been successive reviews of news media over the last decade, from the Finkelstein Review to the Convergence Review, and a separate Senate Inquiries into the Future of Public Interest Journalism and Australian Content. Australia has one of the most concentrated media markets in the world, and right now, ours is continuing to trend in the wrong direction.

“It is clear that decisive action must be taken now, and not over some ambiguous, non-committal work period, as outlined by the Liberals today.

“The Commonwealth must play a stronger role in strengthening the health and diversity of our news media. Now is not the time to be complacent.”

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