InQueensland

NEWS •⁠ POLITICS •⁠ BUSINESS •⁠ CULTURE

Get InQueensland in your inbox Subscribe

Government urged to clean up 'mess' as media code spat rolls on

Politics

Labor has urged the government to clean up messy negotiations with tech giants over a code forcing the platforms to pay for news.

Print article

Google has threatened to pull its search engine from Australia if laws pass compelling companies to shell out for new content.

Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the opposition supports the code’s principle but wants a solution to the bitter spat between the government and tech giants.

“Once again the triumph of announcement over delivery,” he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“They’re still engaged in an argument with the tech platforms over an issue that the government said they would fix last year.”

Chalmers accused Treasurer Josh Frydenberg of giving himself a pat on the back before the code had been delivered.

“Clearly the negotiations are going really badly because these threats are being made,” he said.

“It’s up to the government to clean this up. They’ve made a mess of it.”

Microsoft, which owns Bing, is relishing the chance to swoop if Google abandons its monopoly on search engines in Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has shown no sign of backing down from a fight with Facebook and Google.

Chalmers refused to be drawn on whether Bing becoming the dominant search site would be a good outcome for Australia.

He said the result of the code needed to be good technology being available and news organisations being paid for journalism.

“There will inevitably some changes in the market as a result of that,” the Labor MP said.

“We don’t know if various threats will be followed through on.”

The Greens are calling on the government to establish a publicly owned search engine if Google pulls out of Australia.

More Politics stories

Loading next article