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Friday, 19 October 1984
Page: 2090


Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry and Commerce)(4.12) —The Government does not accept the amendments. We are dealing with the ownership and control provisions. I cannot in any way dissent from the words 'public interest' in Senator Baume's amendments. Nobody can ignore the public interest. It is like children-we are all fond of them. But the point is that the legislation deals with the ownership and control provisions. We are looking at local or regional markets. As I said earlier, the whole question of common ownership of the media ought to be taken into account in respect of a regional market in circumstances in which supplementary licences are being considered. That is the purpose of the Government legislation and we suggest that the Tribunal should be entitled and required to take those matters into account. I do not wish to add anything further on that point.

Many issues were canvassed during the second reading debate. I was concerned to deal with what I thought was some misrepresentation made earlier in the debate in regard to the intention of the legislation. While I am on my feet I mention that during the second reading debate Senator Lewis, in referring to radio station 3CR, I think by implication suggested that although some people had made responses in respect of the Irish Republican Army bombing at Brighton the Government had not. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the text of a statement by the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) which refers to a message sent to Mrs Thatcher about that incident.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-

Prime Minister Canberra

Please pass the following message from the Prime Minister to the Rt Hon. Margaret Thatcher, M.P.

When I met your new High Commissioner, Sir John Leahy, in Canberra on Sunday I expressed to him our shock at the outrage in Brighton last week and our sympathy for the victims.

On behalf of the Australian Government I also wish to extend deep sympathy to you personally, to those who were injured and to the relatives and friends of those murdered in that brutal blast.

I fully support your courageous response to this appalling act of terrorism.

Bob Hawke