The commercial radio industry has welcomed the appointment of Michelle Rowland as the new Federal Minister for Communications in the Albanese Government.
Prior to entering Parliament in 2010 as the Member for Greenway, the Minister was a senior lawyer specialising in competition and regulation in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. She was appointed Shadow Minister for Communications in 2016.
CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, Ford Ennals, says, “This is an excellent appointment. 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, foremost of those will be how to ensure listeners can continue to have free and easy access to radio on new devices such as smart speakers and connected cars without undue interference from tech gatekeepers.
“Eighty per cent 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.
“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.”