I think more resources would be needed for regional news at Nine/NBN (more reporters and camera crews, etc.) if you wanted to boost the amount of quality local news stories. Of course that probably won’t happen anytime soon.
To fill a full half hour bulletin, some of the other regional networks often rely on “generic regional items” filler pieces and local news stories which probably should be left to the free weekly local newspapers. Do we really want to see that type of content on Nine/NBN?
While I obviously couldn’t say exactly what ACMA would do, I personally think it would be fairly reasonable to expect regional networks to do at least 30 minutes of locally relevant news, sports & weather on weeknights + 15 minutes on weekends and public holidays. Under such a proposal, at least half of the required local content (15 minutes on weeknights, 8 or so minutes on weekends/public holidays) would have to be presented during a news bulletin which airs between 5pm and 7.30pm.
Incentives would also be provided for regional networks who produce and present their regional news services from within the relevant broadcast licence area, so we can avoid the current ridiculousness of having Nine News Canberra presented from Sydney and Prime7 Local News for the NSW North Coast presented from Canberra, etc.