Prime Minister Turnbull’s party room has given the green light to the historic media reform package, per reports in The Australian, and a formal backbench committee has officially been created.
The Coalition government took the bill to the communications backbench committee and the rest of the party room this morning, and will extend the bill to the new parliament once they arrive this week.
The bill proves the government is seeking to abolish the reach rule, which currently puts a barrier up against mergers between metro and regional free-to-air broadcasters. On top of that, the government also hopes to kill the two-out-of-three cross media ownership law, which will no doubt open the floodgates to mass media mergers.
Per The Oz, a number of media heavyweights are believed to be travelling to Canberra this week to meet with politicians and crossbenchers, including Seven West Media chief exec Tim Worner, Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh, Nine Entertainment chief Hugh Marks, WIN Corporation boss Andrew Lancaster and Prime Media Group chief Ian Audsley.
Regional free-to-air broadcasters, Southern Cross Austereo, Prime and WIN, will join forces to meet the politicians as a single united front, following the joint funding of reform campaigns through Save Our Voices last year.
No word on meetings being locked down with other crossbenchers yet, however The Oz hints at possible meetings between regional broadcasters and the likes of Nick Xenophon, Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch.