Government releases consultation paper on Broadcasting Services Determination

The Federal Government is inviting submissions from the industry on an updated definition of what constitutes a broadcasting service in relation to regulatory reform.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has released a consultation paper for a proposal to remake the Broadcasting Services Determination made by the previous government ahead of its expiration on September 18.

As it stands, the Determination and its precursor instrument, known as the Alston Determination, excludes certain types of online live-streaming services from the definition of ‘broadcasting service’ under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA).

The paper outlines a new definition with the same terms to provide “certainty and stability” for industry while broader regulatory reforms are being developed, including the regulation of live-streaming and on-demand, point-to-point services.

Rowland said the paper served to progress the government’s election commitments to implement a legislative framework for the prominence of Australian content and review the anti-siphoning scheme, while also setting up further engagement with stakeholders on broader media reform in the coming months.

“This consultation recognises the need for industry stability and the time it takes to develop and deliver meaningful reform fit for the modern age,” she said.

“The Albanese Government has committed to a review of the anti-siphoning scheme to give working families the chance to watch, for free, events of national and cultural significance, and legislating a prominence framework to ensure Australian TV services can easily be found on connected TV platforms.

“The Australian Government will work with industry to modernise media regulations and update analog-era broadcasting legislation for the digital age. I encourage all interested parties to have their say.”

It comes after Arts Minister Tony Burke said he and Rowland would aim to make a decision on streaming regulation before the end of the year as part of the National Cultural Policy rollout.

Consultation on the Broadcasting Services Determination closes on Thursday, September 8. Find out more information here.