Kevin Rudd‘s parliamentary petition calling for a Royal Commission into the diversity of the Australian media, and Murdoch’s monopoly over it, has now closed its signature-gathering period, but not before clicking over 500,000 names in the hours before closing.
Coming in at a whopping 501,876 signatures, the News Royal Commission (a.k.a. the Murdoch Royal Commission) is the biggest e-petition to be presented to the House, following a 2014 petition pressuring the federal government to declare a state of climate emergency.
Truly Kevin Rudd’s biggest serve since the handball championships league.
Before that, the largest ever petitions presented to parliament since the right was launched in 1988 concerning community pharmacy funding support in 2014 (with 1.2m signatures), and another 792k signatures delivered in 2000 concerning tax and beer prices.
Half-a-million Australians have spoken. They’ve smashed the records to make their voice heard: Australia needs a #MurdochRoyalCommission to protect the lifeblood of our democracy.
I am grateful and overwhelmed.
— Office of Kevin Rudd, 26th PM of Australia (@MrKRudd) November 4, 2020
So now that the Royal Commission petition has ended its public voting, what’s next for Rudd’s big push to ensure the future diversity of voices in the Australian media?
From here, the support of the Australian public has to be presented to the House of Representatives. This can either be done by the Chair of the Petitions Committee, or a nominated Member of Parliament willing to table it in the House.
After Rudd tweeted earlier this week that the Greens and its party leader Adam Bandt hadn’t shown any public support to the e-petition, noting that the recent Queensland election is over and that the party “no longer needs Murdoch’s campaign help”. In response to this, Bandt reminded Rudd that MPs can’t officially sign petitions, but offered to be the nominated Member to table the petition in the House of Representatives.
MPs aren’t allowed to sign such petitions, so I can’t.
But I’d be very pleased to table it in Parl on yr behalf.
It’s important & I support its call for an inquiry into corporate dominance & threats to media diversity.
Let me know when you’ve got Labor on board.
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) November 4, 2020
After the petition has been tabled in the House, a response is delivered from the Minister responsible for what’s raised in the petition, in this case, it’d likely be Paul Fletcher, the current Minister for Communications. His response will then be available for the public to view on the parliamentary petitions website.
So now it’s a matter of waiting for the petition to be tabled in the House of Representatives – which sits again from November 9th. If you want to keep updated with the campaign as the petition is tabled and responded to, and what the next steps are after that, you can also sign up to updates from the campaign’s site.