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Aus convergence review kicks off

Ex-'Project Kangaroo' guru joins team

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The Australian government’s long-awaited review of the media and communications regulatory framework is finally underway with the release of an issues framing paper and a call for submissions.

The review is to look at Australia's regulation of the media and communications industries. Earlier this year, its terms of reference were attacked by Australian content industry representatives for not specifically mentioning Internet copyright enforcement (although a review of the Copyright Act is also under way).

The Convergence Review committee chair, Glen Boreham, said the committee was interested in receiving feedback from a broad range of Australians both within the industry and the public.

"Before we engage fully in our consultations we need to ensure we have the right starting point. We also want to hear the issues that stakeholders feel are important for the review to consider," Boreham said.

The closing date for submissions is 10 June 2011.

According to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, an ‘Emerging Issues paper’ reflecting submissions to the Framing Paper will be released in late June. This will be followed by committee hearings in July. Following a release of detailed discussion papers in August, the final report is due to be released in March 2012.

The Department has also named the final member of the convergence review team, Louise McElvogue. McElvogue joins Boreham and Malcolm Long as members of the three-person Review Committee.

A former journalist, McElvogue is a founding partner of Macleod Media and has extensive experience advising high-profile media companies like including BBC Worldwide, ITV and the Discovery Channel on digital strategies. She was also the lead digital strategist and implementation consultant at the BBC’s groundbreaking Project Kangaroo.

Although Kangaroo's video-on-demand offering was blocked by the UK's Competition Commission, it was eventually sold and launched as SeeSaw.

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