Make no mistake, the impact of the decision by Facebook today, which has been effective immediately, is profound, it is profound for Australian consumers, businesses and also media outlets.
It is incumbent on the Government to explain clearly, precisely and urgently what is going on and what the impact will be. Not only that, what it intends to do about it.
Labor has been consistent that the objective of this exercise initiated by the ACCC, in bringing in a workable media code to ensure that we have a thriving public interest journalism sector in Australia and a sustainable media industry needs to be upheld.
We need a workable code. This government only circulated amendments two nights ago, the night before it was actually brought into the parliament and shared those with Labor, we only knew about the impact of them at such a late stage.
Yet the way the government was explaining it, you would have thought that this was a set of amendments that was going to deliver a workable code.
Clearly, in the mind of Facebook, that is not the case. I have been in touch with Facebook Australian representatives today and it is clear that their decision is based on the uncertainty that they perceive with this code. In that event, this is not a workable code that has been landed by this government.