On Insiders, guest Karen Middleton, of taxpayer funded and essentially unregulated SBS, made the astonishing claim that the operation of the proposed Public Interest Media Avocate was akin to the FIRB and its use of a public interest test.
In fact, if she had bothered to do her homework, she would have realised that her assertion is complete tosh.
Under the law, there is a presumption that foreign investment is good and that proposals are only rejected if it is NOT in the public interest. In other words, the onus is on the Treasurer to show why a particular transaction involving a foreign investor should not occur. The investor is not required to demonstrate that the investment is IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
Now there are arguments about the pros and cons of these rules – they are probably there for political economy reasons and to make foreign investment more acceptable to the community – but there are no PARALLELS with the proposed regulation of the press.