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Wednesday, 3 March 2004
Page: 25843

Mr JENKINS (7:57 PM) —I wish to touch on another issue that I annually get a chance to speak about, which is to do with women's sport. Last week was the grand final of the WNBL, which the Dandenong Rangers won. I congratulate the Dandenong Rangers. Over the past two years I have indicated my concern about the media coverage of the event, which has been an example of the bad media coverage of women's sport. On this occasion, I congratulate the ABC, which showed the grand final direct, at least to the Melbourne market, which was a great improvement on the previous year, when they had a delayed telecast at about one o'clock in the morning. I congratulate the ABC for that.

But I express my concern—along with others who have expressed concern, including the Prime Minister—that the ABC has regionalised its coverage of sport in general on TV and that the Melbourne market will be subjected to a sporting package within the news coming out of Sydney. I believe that the ABC, as the national broadcaster, should not only do things nationally. It should understand that it has a responsibility to ensure that the regional differences that abound in Australia are protected and catered for. I hope that it is able to reconsider its decision not to have a Melbourne based TV sporting program in the general news. I think that it is important in its role as the national broadcaster to cater for those regional differences.

Question agreed to.

House adjourned at 7.59 p.m.