in Packer’s Sydney Casino
Today, New Matilda published another story in our series on James Packer casino deal. This one explains how casino regulation works in NSW and how O'Farrell's plan to "get on with it" removes a lot of safeguards put in place to protect NSW against organised crime and corrupt influences which have a history targetting casinos.
There is debate about whether we should have an Australian inquiry into the media and in particular News Ltd which controls 70% of our print media and chunks of our sport and TV industries. I would have thought with arrests of News executives for criminal and corrupt activities and investigations into whether the company is 'fit and proper' to hold licenses, an inquiry would be on the agenda. Some journalists disagree, fearing that an inquiry could lead to state control. Those of us pushing for an inquiry need to be clear on the issues it should explore and what we hope to get out of it.
Why does Australia have such a concentrated media and such a weak system of self-regulation for media owners? To help make sense of all this, I made a brief timeline of media regulation in Australia. You can find it here in New Matilda.
Back in the early seventies, Murdoch even opposed the foundation of an Australian Press Council ( APC) funded and controlled by the media organisations. He later joined by then withdrew after a finding of bias against one of his newspapers. News Corporation later rejoinedfter the APC did not pubicly oppose his takeover of the Herald and Weekly Times. This was a crucial step which made him the dominant media boss in Australia. He was assisted by some political mates who were disgruntled with media company Fairfax's investigative journalism.
Today I published a piece on News Corporation, phone hacking and implications for Australia. I was surprised by how easily commentators and reporters in Australia were prepared to accept that the key issue for us is whether phone hacking actually happened at News Ltd papers in Australia.