CRA applauds regulation change letting MPs use communications allowance on radio

Former Assistant Editor

Commercial Radio Australia has welcomed changes to regulations regarding how MPs and senators can spend their annual office communications allowances.

Special Minister of State the Hon Alex Hawke has made changes to regulations that CRA called “outdated” which prevented parliamentarians from using local radio to communicate with their constituents.

Previously MPs could spend their annual allowance on newspaper, mail, outdoor and social media-based communications.

“The radio industry applauds the non-partisan modernisation of an out of date regulation,” said Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner.

“This is a move that now allows all parliamentarians to communicate their messages on live and local radio. This is just one of a number of old rules that, until now, hadn’t kept pace with the current media landscape and that explicitly discriminated against local radio stations.”

The radio industry is now encouraging all sides of politics to support the lifting of this “inequitable and discriminatory ban.”

Local radio stations can now be considered as an option for communications by all members of parliament.

“This will be a welcome change for MPs and senators from all sides of politics who had been able to use this annual allowance on newspapers, direct mail, outdoor and global digital giants such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and Twitter but were banned from using local radio,” said Warner.

“This is especially important in regional Australia where radio is live and hyperlocal.”

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