“A proprietor with a considerable domestic political agenda controlling
a television station and a newspaper in both Sydney and Melbourne, not
to mention all the outlets for credible business commentary, is not a
legacy we should wish to leave our children.”

“The recent dispute between the various players in the Rugby League is
evidence of where it could lead in the future … I am quite confident
that most of my constituents would not support further concentration.”

“One of the nation’s most powerful and wealthiest individuals can quite
legitimately use their media resources to put their message across
whenever they like. If that message can be put across not only on the
Nine network but also through the Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age … then you do question whether that always serves the public interest.”

“I have no concern at all about Mr [Kerry] Packer gaining control of
Fairfax. My concern is if he does that, without relinquishing some of
his other media assets. The average Australian feels uncomfortable with
the concentration of media ownership.”

CRIKEY: Brendan Nelson, now Education Minister, and often named as a
possible future prime minister, made those public comments when he was a backbencher in 1997. They can be found here on the Xmedia
website. We emailed Mr Nelson’s office this morning to ask whether
he stands by these comments, but we’re yet to hear back.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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