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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3723

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services, upon notice:

What progress has the Australian Fire Board made with its investigation, to which all Premiers had agreed by October 1 975, into the progressive introduction of a standardised fire hose coupling throughout Australia (Hansard, 14 October 1971, page 2465; 19 September 1974, page 1632; and 20 October 1976, page 2020).

Mr Street - The Minister for Administrative Services has provided me with the following answer to the honourable member's question:

The Commonwealth Fire Board is pursuing with all possible speed the collation and analysis of information received from various authorities regarding the implications of the proposed introduction of a standardised fire hose coupling. The results ofthe Board's evaluation will be determined as soon as possible.

Price of Beer in Victoria (Question No. 1669)

Mr Jacobi asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did he say on 19 September 1976, at a meeting of the Liberal Party National Council, that the decision of the Victorian Government to regulate the price of packaged beer sold by discounters seemed to be against the spirit of the Trade Practices Act.

(2   ) Did he also state at that meeting that the philosophy of the Party and its attitude to restrictive trade practices had shown that it was not in favour of retail price arrangements wherever they may be; if so, has he taken any action to have the Trade Practices Act amended so that the States can be prevented from enacting legislation maintaining the price of packaged beer at certain prices.

(3)   What is the reason for the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs saying that it is not appropriate to debate the actions of a State Government in regulating beer prices in answer to question No. 1 159 (Hansard] 17 November 1976, page 2835).

Mr Malcolm Fraser - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follow:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   I did make such a statement but a proposal for Commonwealth Legislation directed at an Act of a State Parliament would raise other considerations and the Government has not in fact introduced legislation of the kind mentioned in the question.

(3)   Question No. 1 159 (Part (3) asked for an expression of opinion on the motives behind the action of a State Government. The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs quite rightly considered it inappropriate for him to express such an opinion.

Assistance to the Arts (Question No. 1694)

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in the Arts, upon notice:

(   1 ) As the Government provides funds to the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, Australian Opera and the Australian Ballet, what account and reports are made by these bodies in respect of the use of these funds to the Government.

(2)   How have the funds granted been utilised in the last 5 years, when isolated from funds from other sources such as donations and subscriptions.

(3)   Is any account given by these Companies to the Government of free tickets given away and the names of the persons in receipt of these tickets.

(4)   Are free tickets given to those, such as pensioners and children, who may not otherwise be able to afford to attend presentations by these bodies.

(5)   What funds have been granted by the Government to the Australian Film Institute, based in Melbourne, during the last 5 years, and for what purposes have these grants been made.

(6)   Is it a fact that employees, agents and persons otherwise connected with the Australian Film Institute have used theatres under its control which are in receipt of operating subsidies from the Australian Government for the purpose of presentation of foreign films which are beneficially owned by those persons.

(7)   Have funds granted to the Australian Film Institute been granted for the production, presentation and promotion of Australian films.

(8)   How have these funds been utilised during the last 5 years, and upon what terms have these funds been granted.

(9)   What has been the degree of commercial success of films financed by the funds granted by the Government to the Australian Film Institute.

(   10) What films have received financial assistance from the Government, either directly or indirectly, in the last 5 years, and what were the terms of the provision of these funds.

(11)   What moneys have been lent by the Government, directly and indirectly, for film production in the last 5 years, and what moneys have been repaid to date.

(12)   Who has received the proceeds of film box office successes which have been produced in Australia and what was the amount received by (a) the producers, (b) the directors, (c) the actors, (d) the distributors and (e) the exhibitors.

Mr Staley -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Reports made to the Australia Council include sixmonthly audited and certified accounts including statement of income and expenditure and balance sheet; six-monthly 8-page audit questionnaire, completed by the organisations 's auditors, dealing with internal financial controls and compliance with conditions of grant; annual submission for funding containing assessment of organisation's activities and comparative financial and other data for previous, current and following years.

(2)   Funds granted are applied to the mounting of performances and tours and to administrative costs in accordance with the conditions of grant. Such funds are not isolated in their utilisation from funds from other sources, but their receipt is accounted for separately in the financial reports referred to in ( 1 ).

(3)   Total figures for unpaid attendances are supplied to the Australia Council on an annual basis. Names of persons receiving free tickets are not supplied.

(4)   Free tickets are not normally given to pensioners and children, but tickets at reduced prices are available to these groups.

(5)   TO (11) Changes TO (11) Changes have recently been made in relation to the distribution of certain Commonwealth film activities and the information sought is not presently readily available. However, it will be obtained and it shall be provided in writing to the honourable member as soon as practicable.

(12)   Almost every film made in Australia has a different investment structure and some films are made without the participation of the Australian Film Commission. The Commission is not able to supply the details requested for films in which it has not participated. In general terms, however, it is true to say that in the commercial sector, the exhibitors' share of the box-office dollar is approximately 65 per cent with the distributors' share being the remaining 35 per cent. The distributors in turn pass on varying percentages to producers and investors. In Australia, actors and directors generally receive a fixed fee which is paid out of the production budget and, therefore, they do not share in box-office receipts.

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