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A Bill for an Act to amend the Charter and board composition in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983, and for related purposes
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Registered 02 Dec 2015
Introduced Senate 01 Dec 2015
Table of contents.

2013‑2014‑2015

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Rural and Regional Advocacy) Bill 2015

 

No.      , 2015

 

(Senator McKenzie)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Charter and board composition in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                3

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983                                                  3

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Charter and board composition in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Rural and Regional Advocacy) Act 2015.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  The whole of the Act

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983

1  Subsection 3(1) (paragraph (a) of the definition of Advisory Council)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Advisory Council established under paragraph 11(1)(a); or

                    (aa)  the Rural and Regional Advisory Council established under paragraph 11(1)(b); or

2  Subsection 3(1)

Insert:

Rural and Regional Advisory Council means the Rural and Regional Advisory Council established under paragraph 11(1)(b).

3  Subparagraph 6(1)(a)(i)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                              (i)  broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of regional and national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the geographic and cultural diversity of, the Australian community; and

4  At the end of subsection 6(1)

Add:

            ; and (d)  to encourage and promote journalistic excellence in Australia, foster an environment conducive to the promotion of regional journalism and allocate the resources necessary to carry out the Corporation’s functions and duties in rural and regional Australia.

5  After subparagraph 6(2)(a)(iii)

Insert:

                          (iiia)  the responsibility of the Corporation to maintain an effective presence across Australia, including throughout rural and regional Australia, consistent with its status as an independent national broadcasting service; and

                          (iiib)  the responsibility of the Corporation to maintain regular transmissions of local content across a variety of platforms;

6  At the end of paragraph 6(2)(a)

Add:

                            (vi)  the responsibility of the Corporation as the provider of quality regional services to provide services that transcend commercial objectives so that the Corporation can meets its obligations to regional Australian areas with small populations; and

                           (vii)  the expectations of communities in regional areas as to the frequency and content of broadcasts; and

7  After subsection 8(2)

Insert:

          (2A)  Before implementing any policy affecting regional areas the Board must consult:

                     (a)  regional employee stakeholders; and

                     (b)  the Rural and Regional Advisory Council.

Note:          Details of the consultations undertaken under this subsection are to be included in the Corporation’s annual report (see paragraph 80(ea)).

8  Subsection 8(3)

Omit “subsection (1) or (2)”, substitute “subsection (1), (2) or (2A)”.

9  Subsection 11(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (1)  The Board must establish:

                     (a)  an Advisory Council under the name Australian Broadcasting Corporation Advisory Council; and

                     (b)  an Advisory Council under the name Rural and Regional Advisory Council.

10  After subsection 11(3)

Insert:

          (3A)  The functions of the Rural and Regional Advisory Council are:

                     (a)  either on its own initiative or at the request of the Board, to advise the Board on matters relating to:

                              (i)  the Corporation’s broadcasting programs in rural and regional Australia; and

                             (ii)  other matters relating to rural and regional Australia; and

                     (b)  to conduct a biennial survey of rural and regional audiences relating to community satisfaction with the Corporation’s broadcasting in rural and regional areas.

Note:          The results of the survey are to be included in the Corporation’s annual report (see paragraph 80(i)).

11  After subsection 11(6)

Insert:

          (6A)  In making appointments to the Rural and Regional Advisory Council, the Board must have regard to the desirability of including in the membership of that Advisory Council representation of individuals who reside in rural or regional Australia.

12  Subsection 11(10)

After “Advisory Council”, insert “, or the Rural and Regional Advisory Council,”.

13  Subsection 11(12)

After “Advisory Council”, insert “, the Rural and Regional Advisory Council”.

14  After subsection 12(5AB)

Insert:

       (5AC)  When appointing Directors referred to in paragraph (1)(b) or (c), the Governor‑General must ensure that at least 2 of the Directors reside in regional areas.

15  Subsection 27(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

             (2)  Subject to subsection (5), the Corporation must:

                     (a)  broadcast daily from each broadcasting service regular sessions of news and information relating to current events within and outside Australia; and

                     (b)  broadcast daily from each radio broadcasting service, at regular intervals, at least 5 radio bulletins that consist solely or primarily of regional or local news between the period:

                              (i)  beginning at 5 am each day; and

                             (ii)  ending at 8 pm each day.

16  After section 33

Insert:

34  The Corporation as an employer in regional areas

                   The Corporation must:

                     (a)  ensure that there are procedures in place to ensure that emergency regional broadcasting events are staffed in accordance with occupational health and industrial safety standards; and

                     (b)  employ a proportion of its employees in regional areas in support of greater per capita investment in rural and regional areas of Australia than population density and commercial aims would otherwise dictate.

17  After paragraph 80(e)

Insert:

                    (ea)  particulars of any consultation undertaken by the Board during the period under subsection 8(2A); and

18  After paragraph 80(g)

Insert:

                     (h)  particulars of any advice received by the Board during the period from the Rural and Regional Advisory Council; and

                      (i)  if a biennial survey is carried out during the period by the Rural and Regional Advisory Council—the results of the survey; and

19  Paragraph 80(l)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                      (l)  particulars of any significant changes during the period in transmission coverage, or transmission quality, of national broadcasting services provided by the Corporation:

                              (i)  in Australia generally; and

                             (ii)  in rural and regional areas; and

                    (m)  particulars of the total number of employees at the end of the period aggregated by:

                              (i)  location of employment; and

                             (ii)  type of employment; and

                     (n)  the percentage at the end of the period of the total number of employees that are employed in:

                              (i)  regional areas; and

                             (ii)  metropolitan areas;

                     (o)  particulars of the average ratio of individuals employed by the Corporation as journalists to support staff in:

                              (i)  regional areas; and

                             (ii)  metropolitan areas; and

                     (p)  particulars of the hours of local, rural and regional news broadcast, aggregated by broadcast area.