The Green Party wants to make independent media watchdog the Press Council answerable to the Government.

The idea, outlined in the party's broadcasting policy, involves creating a "Broadcasting Commission" that would set, monitor and enforce rules such as minimum local content quotas.

The policy document also suggests the Greens would want the commission to have ultimate authority over the Press Council.

While the Greens say they support "responsible industry self-regulation" as the best system for regulating media content, "appropriate safeguards and incentives must be in place to ensure that responsible self-regulation is effective at controlling negative content".


To that end, the Greens would bring the Advertising Standards Authority, Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Press Council into "a common framework based on the principle of responsible self-regulation".

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is a statutory body funded by the Government but the Press Council and the Advertising Standards Authority are industry-funded independent bodies. As well, the Press Council is a vocal advocate for press freedom.

The Greens would "empower the new Broadcasting Commission to monitor the activities and decisions of those organisations and regularly report to Parliament on the effectiveness of self-regulatory codes".

The body would hear appeals against the three organisations' decisions and would have the power to impose sanctions against a media outlet "in cases where it can be clearly demonstrated that it has exhibited wilful or negligent abuse of power and by doing so has either visited material harm on another party or pursued its own self-interest at the expense of the public interest". Adam Bennett