House debates

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Statements by Members

News Media and Digital Platforms

1:50 pm

Photo of Vince ConnellyVince Connelly (Stirling, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

As Australians, we pride ourselves on being quite egalitarian. We don't defer to people just because they're richer or more senior or because they throw their weight around, whether that relates to society, business or even government. We're smart enough to look for what's fair and to deal with others respectfully. So it was a shock for many Australians to wake up last week and see that Facebook had removed local Australian media content from their platform. Unfortunately, that included some emergency services information and even content from charitable organisations. But, after negotiations with the Prime Minister, with our formidable Treasurer and with the minister for communications, Facebook has 'refriended' Australia and will enter good-faith negotiations with Australian media outlets. Indeed, Seven West Media's announcement yesterday of a partnership with Facebook is historic. This is exactly what the government has been encouraging: the striking of commercial deals with media outlets.

Our world-leading new media bargaining code will now help sustain public interest journalism in Australia and ensure that news media outlets are remunerated for the original content of theirs which is shared on these online platforms. We're really pleased with the progress that Google has made in negotiating agreements with Australian media companies, and we're very pleased that Facebook is now doing the same.

The Morrison government will continue to stand up for what is right. We will reflect Australia's values here and when dealing with others right around the world.