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Tuesday, 12 May 1987
Page: 3038


Mr IAN CAMERON(10.26) —I point out that all the action in relation to this media legislation has occurred since the Government released its Press statement in November 1986. Since then, we have seen the multi media players across the nation juggle billions of dollars to try to wrest control from various television stations. Some of these people will fall on their neck, because we will not support the 75 per cent ownership component of the legislation which the Minister for Communications (Mr Duffy) and the Labor Government want to inflict on the people of Australia. We will stick with 43 per cent ownership.


The CHAIRMAN —Order! The honourable member for Maranoa must restrict his comments to clauses 1 to 15.


Mr IAN CAMERON —I am speaking to paragraph (2). Before I get to that I go back to the history of this debate. The Minister has imposed on the nation this multi media juggling for ownership and the people of Maranoa and of similar electorates have really missed out because they are without any commercial television and will remain without it. Honourable members have spoken this evening about extra channels in the cities of Australia, but thousands of Australians are getting no commercial television signal at all under these arrangements. It is a disgrace for the Minister for Communications to totally sell out rural Australia, because that is what he is doing. In addition, paragraph (2) of the amendment to the Communications Legislation Amendment Bill relates to the moratorium on pay television which is proposed for four years. That is an absolute disgrace.


The CHAIRMAN —Order! The honourable member for Maranoa should address himself to clauses 1 to 15 of the Bill.


Mr IAN CAMERON —I am addressing the problem that the isolated television viewers of Australia, under paragraph (2) of the amendment to the second Bill--


The CHAIRMAN —Order! We are dealing with the first Bill at present.


Mr IAN CAMERON —There are two Bills subject to cognate debate, and the National Party is moving an amendment to the second Bill, but the amendments on both Bills are being taken in concert. They are not being debated separately; we are debating the two Bills as one.


The CHAIRMAN —Order! The honourable member for Maranoa is out of order. I call the honourable member for Berowra.


Mr IAN CAMERON —I want to question your ruling, Mr Chairman.


The CHAIRMAN —Order! I call the honourable member for Berowra.


Mr IAN CAMERON —I am told by my Party spokesman that I can debate this matter because we are dealing with all the amendments together. Right?


The CHAIRMAN —Order! The honourable member for Maranoa will resume his seat. If he wishes to speak on the particular clauses before us, he will get the call after the honourable member for Berowra. The honourable member for Maranoa will resume his seat. I call the honourable member for Berowra.