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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23289

Mr RIPOLL (1:52 PM) —I want to raise a very serious issue that concerns not only constituents in my electorate—in particular, I am talking about the Vietnamese community—but also the Vietnamese community right across Australia. There is an issue about a VTV4 news service called Thoi Su which is broadcast by SBS. This program has very deeply offended the majority, I would say, of the Vietnamese community. As a result, the Vietnamese community has actually moved to have SBS take that program off the air.

I can understand the issues from both sides. I understand that SBS feels that it has an independent role to play in terms of news service provision. But, given the high level of objection from the Vietnamese community in Australia which is deeply offended by the broadcast of the state run news program, the many letters that have been written and the consultations that have been had with SBS, I find it amazing that SBS still refuses to listen to the views of the majority of those Australian Vietnamese taxpayers who actually fund these programs. I just find it an offensive position for SBS to take on this particular issue.

I will continue to seek a review of the broadcast of VTV4 news and ask SBS to reread its charter; look at the role that it plays in our community, particularly in the ethnic community; ensure that taxpayers' funds are spent appropriately; and ensure that it actually meets the needs of the community it is meant to serve. It is beyond comprehension how taxpayers' money can be used to broadcast a program not wanted by that particular community. (Time expired)