Free TV today called for the abolition of licence fees to ensure the future sustainability of the industry.
The Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Television and Radio Licence Fees) Bill 2016 implements the reduction of television broadcasting licence fees previously announced by the Government in the May Budget, from 4.5 per cent of gross revenue to 3.375 per cent. At the time, the Government said it would consider further reductions in licence fees later in 2016 as part of a broader package of reforms including the pricing of broadcasting spectrum.
Free TV Chairman Harold Mitchell AC said: “A permanent reduction in licence fees is welcomed by our industry, however further reductions to fees are now urgent if our industry is to remain sustainable.
“In the unrelenting new media environment, we need to ensure that TV broadcasters can continue to invest in great Australian programming and transform their businesses to meet advances in technology and changing consumer viewing habits.
“Licence fees for Australian free-to-air broadcasters must be abolished to ensure that Australia is in line with international best practice.”
Commercial free-to-air broadcasters invest more than $1.5 billion in Australian content annually and support more than 15,000 jobs across the Australian production sector.
“We will continue to work with the Government and Parliament to stress the urgency of licence fee cuts to ensure we can continue to deliver a strong and healthy free-to-air broadcasting service to all Australians,” Mitchell said.