The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released the Media Reform Green Paper: Modernising television regulation in Australia in December 2020 for consultation.

The Green Paper proposed that:

  • Australian broadcasters and free-to-air television networks may be able to make a ‘one-time transition' to a new broadcaster's licence with reduced tax and content quotas on multichannels.

  • In exchange, those who take up the ‘new licence' must agree to transmit content on reduced radiofrequency spectrum, with surplus spectrum to be auctioned off to the telecommunications industry and proceeds used to funds to finance Australian screen content production and local news.

  • Large Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services and Advertising Video-on-Demand (AVOD) providers may be forced to invest into Australia's screen industry.


ACCAN provided a submission in response, recognising several potential consumer detriments arising from the reforms including-:

  • Older Australians, the less affluent and those in regional and remote areas are less likely to use alternatives to free-to-air television, such as subscription streaming services, and would be disproportionately affected by any withdrawal of free-to-air services under the new licence proposal.

  • Some household equipment and most broadcast transmission equipment would no longer be suitable and would require expensive replacement and upgrade.

  • The proposed changes to broadcasting technology would only offer “similar” levels of broadcasting quality, which may affect the programming on ABC TV and SBS TV if they are forced to share a multiplex.

  • The proposed changes to broadcasting technology would limit the scope for any future improvement of television picture quality, or the launch of any new broadcasting services.


Download: docxACCAN submission - Media Reform Green Paper94.01 KB
Download: pdfACCAN submission - Media Reform Green Paper212.13 KB