Topic / Australian Government

R18+ Classification: What you need to know

By on

Image: Shaun Greiner/Flickr (Creative Commons) Yesterday was a day to celebrate if you are a gamer. Not only because of the fact it was a brand new year, but also because video games finally now have an R18+ classification. It may have taken ages (mainly because of South Australia’s opposition), but Australia now has an adults only video game rating. So, what happens now? Here are the things you need [...]

Conroy introduces quotas on digital channels, declares no fourth free-to-air network

By on

Image: espensorvik/Flickr (Creative Commons) Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy has announced that first part of implementing the Convergence Review. This will include the introduction of Australian content quotas on digital channels, and has declared that there will no fourth free-to-air network on the so-called “sixth channel”. Digital channels by Seven, Nine and Ten must broadcast 730 hours of Australian content in 2013; before increasing to 1095 hours in 2014 and [...]

Australia Post launches Digital Mailbox

By on

Finally, we’ve reached some modernity in mail! Australia Post has today launched its long-awaited Digital Mailbox that will let you receive your bills and financial statements all electronically, through the browser, tablet or mobile device – and instantaneously, as opposed to waiting for the mailman to come to your house every day. The service is part of a $2 billion investment in digitising, modernising and expanding its communications and delivery [...]

Australia, New Zealand releases discussion paper on mobile roaming prices

By on

Image: Tom Solari/TECHGEEK.com.au UPDATED: The Federal Government, along with its New Zealand counterpart, have announced that they will be working together to stop large bill shock when travellers use their phones internationally. Both will launch a discussion paper today to gauge public opinion before negotiating an agreement. That agreement could mean legislation being introduced in both sides of the Tasman that could introduce price caps if you plan to use [...]

Budget: Bureau of Meteorology to trial advertising on its website

By on

BUDGET 2012: Little things tend to be disregarded when we have major projects announced. However, hidden in the budget is that the Bureau of Meteorology will soon have ads on its website for a one-year trial. “The trial will assist the Government to determine the long‑term feasibility of advertising, potential revenue and the level of public acceptance,” budget papers say. “Revenue from the trial will contribute to meet the costs [...]

Budget: NBN cancellation would cost nearly $2 billion

By on

Photo: Kainet/Flickr (Creative Commons) BUDGET 2012: The budget has revealed the cost of cancelling the $36 billion National Broadband Network would see a $1.8 billion black hole –  something that the Coalition needs to accommodate in its budgets if it does go through and scrap the entire project. This stems from an agreement between NBN Co and the Australian Government that sees the government “in the event of a termination [...]

SBS gets Budget boost, set to launch new FTA channel for Indigenous Australians

By on

BUDGET 2012: SBS is about to get $158.1 million over five years in funding – something long overdue after only getting a measly $20 million three years ago – which also includes plans to launch a brand new digital channel for Indigenous Australians, “This represents the most significant funding boost SBS has ever had, and will ensure SBS can continue to provide a unique broadcasting service that includes comprehensive television, [...]

Convergence Review: the call for regulation will be unpopular with established media

By on

Image: dailyinvention/Flickr (Creative Commons) I’m looking forward to the next few days. The Convergence Review’s key recommendation to introduce a new body to “regulate” the activities of our major 15 media operators – including newspapers – is significant. I expect the major media ownership groups, particularly those primarily invested in newspapers, will vehemently oppose this move given newspapers have been the one part of the media landscape that has, to [...]

Convergence Review: ‘Sixth multiplex’ should be used to launch new FTA channels

By on

Image: espensorvik/Flickr (Creative Commons) Buried in the Convergence Report is a plan that could enable Australian television to be more crowded than the 18 channels already available on digital. While ruling out the possibility of a fourth commercial network, the review wants to use the ‘sixth multiplex’ to be used to launch a number of new channels. Currently, the ‘sixth multiplex’ has been “temporarily allocated” to the community channels in [...]

Small bloggers and publishers avoid ‘News Media Council’ body

By on

Image: chispita_666/Flickr Small bloggers and publishers have avoided being regulated in the Convergence Review, despite another inquiry wanting those to be part of a ‘News Media Council’ body that would regulate news content’s accuracy. The ‘News Media Council’ body was supported by the Convergence Review. However, instead of being government-funded but independent of it – as called by the Finkelstein Report – it should be majority or fully funded by [...]

FULL TEXT: Convergence Review Final Report

By on

Image: Luc De Leeuw/Flickr (Creative Commons) The Australian Government has released the full report of its Convergence Review – and for those who did not know what that was, it was to evaluate the future of Australia’s media and communications laws. Some of the key findings include a new regulatory framework for spectrum, media ownership and – as noted by a leak by The Australian – news standards. “The Gillard [...]

Microsoft, Apple to be asked by Parliament on why they charge so much in Australia

By on

Image: Mark Pegrum/OzMark17 via Flickr (Creative Commons) Apple and Microsoft, among other tech companies, have been called to Canberra to explain why Australians are being charged much more on software, music and games in comparison to other nations, according to a new report. Wait, Parliament doing something? (Okay, that might not be fair, they have done some good work – such as the R18+ laws) According to the Sydney Morning [...]

Gillard to replace Conroy with ‘someone more competent’

By on

Image: Kim Davies/Flickr (Creative Commons) EXCLUSIVE: Senator Stephen Conroy could be out of the cabinet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard already looking for someone to replace him as Communications Minister. According to sources close to Gillard, Conroy’s ousting is due to a threat from the Greens that it would revoke its deal to support the Government. “The Greens want someone more competent,” according to one source – listing his support [...]

Huawei banned in NBN supplier bid due to ASIO’s fears of army ties

By on

Photo: Kainet/Flickr (Creative Commons) The Australian Government reportedly stopped Chinese mobile equipment maker Huawei Technologies from bidding to become a major supplier to the National Broadband Network, over fears of cyber attacks from China and its CEO’s links to the army. According to The Australian Financial Review, the Attorney-General’s office told the company that they were banned – despite a reported endorsement by NBN Co’s technology department. That advice was [...]

R18+ Classification passes House with bipartisan support, heads to Senate

By on

Image: Shaun Greiner/Flickr (Creative Commons) The House of Representatives have passed the R18+ classification amendment for video games, meaning that the law reaches its final hurdle – passing the Senate. However, as seen by the support in the House, then it will most likely pass without any hitches. All political parities – including the Coalition – voted in favour for the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Ammendment (R18+ Computer [...]