A push to recognise the value of regional newspapers and ensure they receive a fair share of Australian government advertising spending has gained the support of the Senate, following a similar motion in the House of Representatives earlier this month.
On Monday, Opposition Whip Anne McEwen called on the government to ensure regional and community newspapers received their fair share of government campaign spending.
The motion was co-sponsored by Greens senator Scott Ludlam and Motoring Enthusiast Party senator Ricky Muir and passed without dissent.
The move follows Country Press Australia’s recent discussions with the government about how it can improve its communications with regional Australians.
Ms McEwen, a Labor Senator for South Australia, said regional newspapers were important for their communities, but also for members of parliament.
“There’s quite a great affection of members of parliament for regional newspapers. We all get them. We all read them.”
“There’s quite a great affection of members of parliament for regional newspapers. We all get them. We all read them. It’s a great way for us to understand what’s happening in our regional communities as well as a great way for us to communicate with our regional constituents,” Senator McEwen said.
“The motion will give us an opportunity to have a look at government advertising spends in the future and if regional media aren’t getting their fair share, we’ll follow it up.”
Senator McEwen’s motion follows Labor MP Nick Champion’s November 9 motion in the House of Representatives, which drew support from members from both major parties.
“I think there’s really good cross-party support for the campaign within the federal parliament,” Senator McEwen said.
“In the Labor party we certainly understand how important regional media is.”
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