Government gives in to Opposition amendments on captioning

The Federal Opposition has successfully moved amendments to the Broadcasting and Other Legislation Amendment (Deregulation) Bill 2014 in the House of Representatives.

These amendments respond to concerns with the Bill that were raised by Deaf and Hearing Impaired advocacy groups.

Specifically the amendments will:

• Restore the requirement for free-to-air broadcasters to report annually on their compliance with captioning obligations and;

• Restore the statutory review of captioning – to occur in 2016.

This review will allow both broadcasters and the deaf community to comprehensively assess captioning obligations and work through any issues they have.

The Federal Opposition undertook extensive consultation with parties affected by this bill, including Deaf Australia and the Media Access Association – consultation that the Government failed to conduct properly before this bill was introduced.

Whilst it is disappointing that the Government did not adequately consult prior to the introduction of this Bill, thanks to Labor, captioning has now been protected.

THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: RYAN HAMILTON 02 9790 2466