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Inquiry into the competitive neutrality of the national broadcasters

We are seeking views on whether Australia’s national broadcasters (ABC and SBS) are operating in line with competitive neutrality principles.

Why we want your input

This is your opportunity to inform the dialogue about whether the national broadcasters are operating in a manner consistent with the principles of competitive neutrality.

How you can voice your opinion

You can voice your opinion by providing responses to any or all of the questions in the submission form below. Responses are due by 22 June 2018.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your responses will inform the inquiry and contribute to our examination of how the national broadcasters compete with the private sector.

The Issue

Australia’s media landscape continues to evolve rapidly in response to shifting global and consumer trends and this has forced changes to how our national broadcasters operate.

It is timely to consider how the ABC and SBS operate within the market and the basis on which they are competing with the private sector.

Competitive neutrality principles provide that government businesses activities should not enjoy net competitive advantages by virtue of their public sector ownership.

The Inquiry will examine whether the ABC and SBS are operating in a manner consistent with these principles.

The Government announced the appointment of an expert Panel to conduct the Inquiry and released the terms of reference on 29 March 2018. The Panel’s membership is Mr Robert Kerr (Chair), Ms Sandra Levy AO and Ms Julie Flynn.

The Panel is consulting relevant stakeholders during the Inquiry and is being supported by a Taskforce in our Department.

The Panel published an Issues Paper outlining the consultation process and encouraging participation in the Inquiry.

The public consultation period for the inquiry has now ended.

Relevant Documentation

Inquiry into the competitive neutrality of the national broadcasters - Issues Paper

Published 26th Apr 2018

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Issues Paper on the inquiry into the competitive neutrality of the national broadcasters.This Inquiry will explore the practices of the national broadcasters and advise the Government on whether they are operating in a manner consistent with the general principles of competitive neutrality.

Inquiry into the Competitive Neutrality of the National Broadcasters - Terms of Reference

Published 26th Apr 2018

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Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into the Competitive Neutrality of the National Broadcasters


Published 26th Apr 2018

Download PDF (125.67 KB) Download DOC (106.14 KB)

Frequently asked question on Competitive Neutrality of the National Broadcasters Inquiry


The panel provided its report to the Minister for Communications and the Arts on 28 September 2018. The Minister released the panel’s report on 12 December 2018.

The panel found the national broadcasters are applying ‘best endeavours’ to meet competitive neutrality requirements but recommended they improve their transparency, reporting and other processes relating to their competitive activities and Charter performance.

The panel also noted the ABC and SBS Boards should give greater guidance on how they take account of other media market participants.

It is up to the national broadcasters to act on these recommendations.

The Government is considering how it might implement other panel recommendations.

Report attachments

The following attachments to the report have also been released:

PwC's Australian Broadcast Media Landscape 2018-2022 (Attachment A) has not been released as it contains proprietary information. However, the panel's report includes relevant extracts from PwC's report.


26 Apr 2018 09:00 AEST
22 Jun 2018 17:00 AEST
This consultation is closed.


ABC Friends
ABC Supplementary Submission
Abigail Watkins
Alan Wardrop
Andrew Jakubowicz
Angela Williamson
Annette Barbetti
Anonymous 30
Anonymous Submission 01