(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

Media policy in Australia, no matter who is in government, is usually about one thing: politics. The government's latest iteration is no exception.

The primary political goal is to look after the interests of the commercial free-to-air television broadcasters who play such an important role in election campaigns. They've been protected from competition for generations -- competition from a fourth television licence, from subscription television, from digital broadcasting and, now, from streaming services that offer viewers the kind of choice and control that the antiquated free-to-air broadcasting model can never match.

That tradition continues, albeit dressed up in protectionist garb, with streaming services to be subjected to a scheme to "incentivise and, as needed, require" streaming services to spend more on Australian content -- although how foreign-owner and -operated streaming services will be "required" to do anything isn't clear.