Australia’s commercial radio industry has welcomed the appointment of Michelle Rowland as the new Federal Minister for Communications in the Anthony Albanese Government.
“This is an excellent appointment,” said Ford Ennals, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, which represents commercial stations from across the country. “Minister Rowland has deep media expertise and the radio industry welcomes her stated commitment to bringing Australia’s media laws into the digital age.
“We will be looking to meet with the Minister soon to discuss a broad range of policy issues. About 80% of Australians listen to commercial radio every week and the industry is a major provider of local news and information to regional areas, so it’s critical that action is taken now to level the playing field with digital platforms.”
Prior to entering Parliament in 2010 as the Member for Greenway, Rowland was a senior lawyer specializing in competition and regulation in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. She was appointed Shadow Minister for Communications in 2016.
“The industry also remains focused on removing regulatory inequalities to ensure a sustainable future for commercial radio. One example is the media blackout rule, which prevented election advertising on radio during the final few days of the campaign but did not include digital media. This unnecessary rule has costly implications for our members, and inevitably flows through to the ability to fund content production and newsrooms,” said Ennals.