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Wednesday, 19 November 1986
Page: 2486

Senator MAGUIRE —Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Communications been drawn to an article in the Australian yesterday headlined `Italian backing for SBS merger' which quoted a report in Il Globo? Does the Australian article accurately reflect evidence contained in the Committee of Review of the Special Broadcasting Service, the Connor report? Will the amalgamation of the SBS with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation mean a more cost-effective and/or earlier extension of multicultural television via the ABC to currently unserviced centres such as Port Pirie, Whyalla and Port Augusta in the Iron Triangle area of South Australia?

Senator WALSH —I have not read the original report in Il Globo which was reported yesterday in the Australian. Indeed I would have a great deal of difficulty trying to read it. However, I understand that the Australian newspaper's summary of the Il Globo report was quite accurate and that likewise the Il Globo article or editorial as reprinted in the Australian accurately reflects the evidence contained in the Connor report. No doubt it has been a great disappointment to that weak opportunist who currently leads the Liberal Party that the organ of the largest ethnic group in the country, that is excluding Anglo-Celtic ethnics, has come out in support of the very sensible decision that the Government made on both broadcasting and budgetary grounds thereby demonstrating not only that the present Leader of the Opposition is a weak opportunist but that he is a pretty crook political judge as well.