The government secures media deal after a night of wheeling and dealing, but energy still looms large and questions remain over the former ABCC boss
Richard Di Natale is not happy with the media reform deal and says it will only lead to a “further concentration of the Australian media market”.
The Greens came back to the negotiating table with the government, out of concern for the future of the ABC’s funding and public interest journalism, but in the end, Di Natale said it couldn’t support the package the government put forward.
“There is a huge concern here that as a result of the deal that has been done with One Nation and this is all part of the deal…the deal has two components, one is inserting ‘fair and balanced’ into the ABC for example – I mean, do we want the ABC to become Fox News? That is their slogan. This is really to indulge One Nation and the only way this was going to get across the line with One Nation, and with Senator Xenophon’s support, was with that attack on the ABC. The real concern here is One Nation wants to take the axe to the ABC, they don’t support having a strong and independent broadcaster and we have great concerns about that.”
The social services minister, Christian Porter, has been out spruiking the government’s planned changes to its ‘no jab, no pay’ policy, which sees family benefit supplements withheld if a child’s vaccination schedule is not kept up to date.
Speaking to ABC TV this morning, Porter said the government had seen “very good success” with the measure, in terms of increasing immunisation rates, but wanted to tweak it slightly.
What we’re doing is moving to a system where the no pay component is brought forward so that a family that doesn’t do the right thing and fails to have a child vaccinated could stand to lose $28 a fortnight rather than this withholding of a supplement right at the end of the year. We think that that immediacy provides a fortnightly incentive and reminder which will even further lift up vaccination rates. We had a great success so far.