Media and Communications

Freedom and diversity of the press, and accessible media and communications systems are integral to a successful democratic society.

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Freedom of the press and effective, affordable and accessible media and communications systems are integral to the functioning of a successful democratic society.
  2. Everyone should be able to access a variety of affordable telecommunications.
  3. Media diversity in content and format is everyone’s right.
  4. Australian content should be strongly supported and well-funded.
  5. Strong, independent public and community media are an essential part of Australia's media sector.
  6. Australia must have an independent regulatory framework for media, communications and advertising.
  7. Public ownership of essential communications infrastructure and diversity of commercial media ownership is in the best interests of a democratic society.
  8. Net neutrality is important for an open internet.
  9. Digitalisation of broadcasting and other services requires government support and a public education campaign.
  10. Documents placed in the public domain by government should be accessible with free non-proprietary software, and public data should be made available in open, interoperable formats.
  11. The government should lead by example and embrace open source and open standards. 
  12. Sexism and gender stereotyping in the media needs to be addressed through strong national standards to promote a wider representation of people in all their diversity in public roles and images.

Aims

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Diversity of both opinion and ownership of media across Australia and strict protections against the concentration or monopolisation of media ownership.
  2. Our public broadcasters ABC and SBS to continue to be leaders in the production of independent news, investigative journalism, analysis, entertainment and innovative programming, be free of advertising and be funded to achieve these ends.
  3. The ABC and the SBS to be governed by boards independent of government that include staff-elected representation.
  4. High quality Australian content across all media genres.
  5. A vibrant and adequately publicly-funded community media sector providing services that reflect geographical and cultural diversity.
  6. Affordable and reliable high speed internet connections available for the community.
  7. NBN to focus on ‘fibre to the premises’ infrastructure rather than ‘fibre to the node’, in order to ensure effective investment of resources in a long-lasting advanced telecommunications system for the benefit of all residents.
  8. Australia Post to remain a publicly-owned provider of postal services.
  9. The equitable installation of new communications infrastructure across Australia.
  10. A reduction in the timeframe of the transition of intellectual property into the public domain.
  11. Legislative recognition of a broader array of copyright licence types.
  12. Government to provide policy frameworks supportive of open standards and free open source software, and support government, business, education and other sectors to derive sustainable advantages through adoption of open standards.
  13. Free and open publishing of publicly-funded academic research within a 12-month period of initial publication and the establishment and resourcing of a research archive for this research.
  14. Truth in political advertising laws to be legislated and an independent authority to investigate complaints.
  15. A nationally consistent approach to the regulated sale of X-rated material.
  16. Free-to-air coverage of important sporting events and other events of national and cultural significance.
  17. Individuals to be protected from defamation actions designed to stifle participation in public debates.
  18. The protection of anonymous journalistic sources to ensure press freedom.
  19. The reform of copyright and licensing schemes to give legal protection and clearer guidelines for fair use, crown copyright and public domain works.
  20. Regulation of the internet to be transparent, accountable and protective of privacy, freedom of speech and access to information.
  21. Transparency and public accountability for the workings of the Australian Classification Board and the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) website blacklist.
  22. The installation of communications infrastructure, including mobile phone towers, to be subject to improved state, territory and local government planning provisions and community consultation.
  23. Adequate funding to maintain a healthy Australian film industry and to ensure Australia's cultural media history is preserved and protected.
  24. The establishment of an independent regulatory body with adequate funding and powers.
  25. The establishment of a national regulatory framework and energy efficiency standard for data centres.
  26. Effective regulation of the digital games industry to ensure children are not exposed to excessive violence or sexual content.
  27. Sufficient resources and funding for libraries to improve their digital services.
  28. An increased number of women in senior media positions and gender equality at all levels of the media industry.

[Policy endorsed: May 2018]