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THE NEWS WRAP: Conroy looks to scale back media reforms

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is looking to scale back proposed media reforms in the wake of concerns about a possible merger between Nine Entertainment and Southern Cross Broadcasting.


Currently, broadcasting laws restrict any television or radio network reaching more than 75% of the Australian population, with the 75% rule preventing capital city broadcasters (such as Nine Entertainment) merging with regional television networks (for example, Southern Cross Broadcasting).


However, concerns over market concentration as a result of a merger between Nine and Southern Cross Broadcasting has led the Ten network and Seven West Media to drop their support for ending the 75% rule.


"We are concerned that debate around the 75% reach rule is jeopardising more important reforms such as changes to licence fees and Australian content rules,” a Seven West Media spokesperson said.


Union restricts Victorian power output during industrial action against EnergyAustralia


Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union members have restricted the output of a major Victorian power plant as part of ongoing industrial action against energy giant EnergyAustralia.


Union members have used a manual override to restrict the output of the Yallourn power station to 240 megawatts for each generator, down from 360 megawatts to 392 megawatts per generator, during the peak hours of 4PM and 6PM.


EnergyAustralia is seeking court orders to end the action and is seeking compensation for lost energy sales from the union, as Victoria continues to suffer through a record breaking heat wave.


Billabong rival Quiksilver reports earnings down 3%


There’s more bad news in the surfwear market, with key Billabong and Rip Curl rival Quiksilver reporting its first quarter earnings are down by 3%.


Quiksilver reported its first-quarter net revenues were $US431 million, down 3% year on year, with the company reporting its earnings in the Americas are down a massive 9% or $17 million.


The news comes after Billabong posted a $567 million write-down last month amidst sluggish conditions in the surfwear market.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.2% to 14426.75. The Aussie dollar is up to $US102.78 cents.