The commercial radio industry has welcomed Special Minister of State the Alex Hawke’s changes to out-dated regulations restricting how parliamentarians can use their annual office communications allowances to communicate with their constituents.
Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, said: “The radio industry applauds the non-partisan modernisation of an out of date regulation. This is a move that now allows all parliamentarians to communicate their messages on live and local radio. This is just one of a number of old rules that, until now, hadn’t kept pace with the current media landscape and that explicitly discriminated against local radio stations.
“This will be a welcome change for MPs and senators from all sides of politics who had been able to use this annual allowance on newspapers, direct mail, outdoor and global digital giants such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and Twitter but were banned from using local radio. This is especially important in regional Australia where radio is live and hyperlocal,“ she said.
The funds are annual allocations, not linked to elections, and the radio industry is encouraging all sides of politics to support the lifting of this inequitable and discriminatory ban, which now allows local radio stations to be considered as an option for communications by all members of parliament.