The Federal Government is entering a crucial stage of negotiations with the Senate crossbench over its proposed reform of media laws, with the legislation due to come before Parliament again this week.
The suite of changes includes slashing license fees and scrapping the “reach rule” which prevents a single TV broadcaster from reaching more than 75 per cent of the population.
Labor opposes some of the proposed measures in the bill, meaning the Government is relying on the support of the Senate crossbench to have it passed.
When contacted by the ABC, the Nick Xenophon team, the Greens and One Nation all indicated a deal for their support had not been finalised.
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie also remains undecided.
Regardless, the matter being scheduled for debate again on Tuesday.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the discussions were ongoing.
“Senate colleagues, apart from Labor, are involved in active discussions with the Government on media reform,” he said in a statement.
“It is independent and minor party colleagues who are prepared to constructively engage.”
It is understood one of the main obstacles is the Government’s bid to relax restrictions on an individual or company owning a TV station, radio station and newspaper in the same license area, known as the “two out of three” rule.
Last week Minister Fifield told RN that under the Government’s changes there would still be “important diversity protections”.
“We can’t pretend that the media landscape is the same as it was when these media laws were designed, they were designed in an era before the internet existed,” he said.
The proposed changes have the backing of some media executives, with a delegation travelling to Canberra to show their support earlier this year.