Great step forward for rural broadcasting

23 Oct 2017 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) I WELCOME new legislative reforms to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Act introduced in the Senate. These are great news for regional areas as they enhance the ABCs commitment to rural and regional Australia and require its news services to be fair and balanced. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (Rural and Regional Measures) Bill 2017 implements reforms that I put forward to enshrine a formal commitment to rural and regional Australia in the ABCs Charter. It also requires the ABC to consult on changes affecting rural and regional audiences, through the establishment of a Regional Advisory Council. I was also keen to have included in the Bill that at least two members of the ABC board have a substantial connection to or substantial experience in, a regional area through business, industry or community involvement. The Bill also introduces greater transparency by requiring a number of additional particulars to be included in its annual report. These amendments will ensure the ABC has an even greater focus on, and regard for, the needs of rural and regional communities. The Bill will require news and information to be fairand balanced, in addition to the already legislated requirement to be accurate and impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism. The Bill seeks to legislate what the ABC already expects of itself. The ABCs own Editorial Policies already cover fair treatment, as well as requiring a balance that follows the weight of evidence. The amendments will cement the standards expected by Australian taxpayers and I look forward to support from Labor and Crossbench Senators interested in a better and fairer deal for people in regional areas from the ABC. Bridget McKenzie, Nationals Senator for Victoria Caption Text: PROTECTING OUR GOOD NAME: Ross Brown (Brown Brothers), Allison Lloyd (Wines of the King Valley, Jaala Pulford (Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) and Natalie Pizzini (Pizzini Wines) toast the success and future of the King Valleys Prosecco Road at State Parliament on Thursday. Prosecco Road is a wine and tourism marketing initiative that brings together five King Valley wineries Brown Brothers, Chrismont, Dal Zotto, Pizzini and Sam Miranda. The State Government pledged its support for the King Valleys right to use the name prosecco at a time when Italy was trying to lay exclusive claim to the label. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.