The majority voted in favour of passing the bills in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of reading the bills for a third time.
Since the Senate had agreed to some amendments, the bills will now return to the House of Representatives for the Members there to decide if they agree with the amendments or not. If they do agree, the bills will become law.
What do the bills do?
The two bills are the:
- Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017; and the
- Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Bill 2017.
Most significantly, the bills were introduced to get rid of certain media ownership, control and diversity laws, like the ‘75% audience reach rule’, which stops commercial television broadcasting licensees from controlling licences if the combined licence area has a population over 75% of Australia' population. It would also get rid of the ‘2 out of 3 cross-media control rule’, which stops a company from having control over more than two out of three regulated media platforms in any one commercial radio licence area.
Read more in the bills digest.