Government bans Sky News from train stations
SKY NEWS Australia has been banned from TV screens at Melbourne train stations after the airing of an interview with a far-right nationalist.
Victoria's Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan told Metro Trains to remove all Sky News Australia content from TVs at CBD stations.
An interview on Sunday with outspoken agitator Blair Cottrell, proved "the final straw" in a list of questionable broadcasts, the minister said.
"I'm very pleased to see not only have Metro Trains immediately agreed to that, they've also indicated that they agree the content that's screened on the public transport network needs to be appropriate for its passengers," Ms Allan told reporters on Thursday.
"Hatred and racism have no place in our society, they have no place in Melbourne, in Victoria."
Cottrell has also been interviewed on the ABC and Channel 7, but the Victorian Government has not included them in the ban.
Ms Allan said passengers had made complaints about the interview airing at train stations.
"People in their own home using their own devices, using their own devices at train stations, can watch whatever they like, but when it comes to standing on a platform, facing a big screen with content being shown, it's got to be content that's appropriate," she said.
During a heated interview on Sky News on Thursday afternoon, Ms Allan was confronted with the fact that the interview was never aired on the train platforms.
She also claimed that dozens of advertisers had pulled out of the broadcaster, but could only name two.
Former Labor MP Craig Emerson accused the broadcaster of "normalising racism and bigotry" and subsequently quit his role with SkyNews.
Ms Allan told 3AW the interview with Mr Cottrell "was the final straw" for the broadcaster, despite having only seen excerpts.
She cited conversations aired of former Labor Party leader Mark Latham and the promotion of Senator David Leyonhjelm's comments about Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, as other inappropriate incidents aired by Sky.
Metro Trains chief executive Raymond O'Flaherty told AAP every passenger deserved to feel welcome and comfortable while travelling on the network.
"We've made arrangements to remove the current news coverage to ensure the content meets the expectations of the community we serve," he said. The news screened at the City Loop stations is provided by a third party advertising supplier which has agreed to immediately remove the broadcaster's coverage from the screens.
Federal opposition spokesman for transport, Anthony Albanese, suggested government broadcaster ABC 24 should instead be shown on TVs in the public transport network.
Sky News Australia has been contacted for comment.