Government extends lifeline to local and regional media

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Australian Government will provide $15 million to local and regional newspaper publishers to help absorb newsprint price hikes which threaten to wipe out local newspaper titles for good.

This is part of a $29 million local news and community broadcasting transition package to help regional, local and community media providers. From early July, consultation with stakeholders will begin to determine gant guidelines and criteria for applicants.

Applications will open shortly after via the Australian Government’s GrantConnect website, and funds to be delivered as soon as practical. Newsprint price increases, which kicked in on 1 July 2022, threaten regional and newspapers and journalism jobs across Australia, and assistance is needed as soon as possible.

Labor raised the alarm on the newsprint crisis in April and extended bipartisan support for a crisis response during the caretaker period, which was not taken up by the previous government.

The fund includes $10 million for eligible regional newspaper publishers, and $5 million for eligible local newspaper publishers, including independent suburban, First Nations and multicultural newspaper publishers.

After a decade of mismanagement and neglect under the former Liberal National Government, the Albanese Government will support local news and local journalism jobs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon. Michelle Rowland MP:

Newspapers are an important part of many regional and rural communities across Australia, with many Australians relying on them to stay informed and connected.

The Australian Government will support eligible print publishers to alleviate the increasing costs of newsprint, which threatens the sustainability of regional and local community newspapers, and local journalism jobs.

A decade of neglect and mismanagement under the Liberal National government left regional and local newspaper publishers exposed to external shocks, like newsprint price hikes. This funding will help the sector absorb the increases so they can continue their vital work in their local communities.

MONDAY 4 JULY 2022

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