How George Brandis voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should use regulation to increase the diversity of publishers and broadcasters in Australia's media industry by, for example, setting a threshold for the maximum market share of any one company.

Division George Brandis Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Sep 2017, 5:48 PM – Senate Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017 and another - Third Reading - Pass the bills

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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:

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

14th Sep 2017, 5:44 PM – Senate Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017, Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Bill 2017 - in Committee - Agree with bills

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The majority agreed to both bills, as amended by the Senate, which means they can now decide on whether to pass the bills in the Senate.

What do the bills do?

The two bills are the:

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

14th Sep 2017, 5:07 PM – Senate Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017, Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Bill 2017 - in Committee - 2-out-of-3 cross media rule

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The majority supported keeping schedule 2 of the bill unchanged. This vote occurred after NSW Senator Deborah O'Neill (Labor) proposed that that schedule should be opposed (and so taken out of the bill).

What is schedule 2?

Schedule 2 proposes to repeal the ‘2 out of 3 cross-media control rule’, which is that:

A person can only control two of the regulated media platforms (commercial television, commercial radio and associated newspapers) in a commercial radio licence area.

(Read more about this rule in the bills digest.)

What do the bills do?

The two bills are the:

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

14th Sep 2017, 5:03 PM – Senate Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017, Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Bill 2017 - in Committee - 2-out-of-3 cross media rule

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by NSW Senator Deborah O'Neill (Labor), which means it failed.

What did the amendment do?

This bill proposes to repeal the ‘2 out of 3 cross-media control rule’, which is that:

A person can only control two of the regulated media platforms (commercial television, commercial radio and associated newspapers) in a commercial radio licence area.

(Read more about this rule in the bills digest.)

This amendment supported removing that part of the bill so that the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule remains unchanged.

What do the bills do?

The two bills are the:

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.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

13th Sep 2017, 10:24 PM – Senate Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017, Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with bills' main idea

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The majority voted in favour of the main idea of the bills. In parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of reading the bills for a second time.

The Senate can now discuss the bills in more detail.

What is the main idea of the bills?

The two bills are the:

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.

absent No (strong) Passed by a small majority

11th Oct 2006, 6:13 PM – Senate Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2006 and three related bill - Second Reading - Agree with the main idea of the bills

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The majority agreed the with main idea of the four bills (in parliamentary jargon, they agreed to read them for a second time). This means that the Senate can now discuss them in more detail.

The four bills were:

More on the Media Ownership bill

Of these four bills, the Media Ownership bill is the most controversial.

Main idea of the Media Ownership bill

The Media Ownership bill will introduce new laws relating to cross media ownership and foreign media ownership. Specifically, it will permit cross-media mergers in radio licence areas where sufficient diversity of media groups remains following the merger and remove media-specific restrictions on foreign ownership and control.

The bill states that there is sufficient diversity of media groups if there are at least five separate media groups in mainland State capitals and at least four groups in other licence areas following any merger activity.

What are cross media ownership laws?

Under the current law, a person can't control two types of media (including TV, radio and newspaper media) within the same licence area. For example, one person can't control a commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence within a particular area. Nor can they control a commercial radio broadcasting licence and a newspaper associated with the area.

A person is considered to be in control of the particular type of media if they have interests in the company greater than 15%.

What are foreign media ownership laws?

There are currently several controls on foreign ownership of Australian media. For example, there are strict limits on the degree of total foreign interest in newspaper ownership as well as a set limit on the interest of any single foreign shareholder.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

How "voted strongly against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 5 0 250
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 25 300

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 25 / 300 = 8.3%.

And then