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Wednesday, 18 February 1987
Page: 136


Senator HAINES (Leader of the Australian Democrats) —I give notice that, on Tuesday, 24 February 1987, I shall move:

(1) That the Select Committee on Television Equalisation inquire into and report upon-

(a) current levels of media ownership and control in Australia;

(b) the effects of current levels of ownership and control on:

(i) the diversity of information and opinion available to the public, and whether the supply of information and opinion is compromised, or potentially compromised, by wider commercial interests of media owners, and whether the supply is compromised, or potentially compromised, by foreign ownership of Australian media;

(ii) programming, with particular reference to overseas content and the measures needed to maintain appropriate content reflecting local community and national interests;

(iii) levels of employment in the media industry;

(iv) cost of advertising, particularly to casual and low volume users, e.g. small business.

(c) an acceptable level of concentration of media ownership and control in the light of matters ascertained in (b);

(d) the measures necessary to reduce current levels of concentration of media ownership and control if these are found to be above acceptable levels;

(e) the measures necessary to maintain media ownership and control at acceptable levels, and to prevent foreign ownership and control of Australian media;

(f) the measures necessary to encourage community-based and controlled media outlets designed to provide a wide variety of information and opinion, and assess to what extent government support should be given to alternative community-based media;

(g) direct communication media (VAEIS, cable services and satellite distribution services) and determine what, if any, controls and licensing regulations are needed;

(h) the legislative and other measures necessary to implement the Committee's recommendations.

(2) That the Committee commence its inquiry into the matters referred to it by this Resolution upon the completion of its inquiry in relation to the Broadcasting Amendment Bill 1986 and the Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 1986.

(3) That the Committee report on the matters referred to it by this Resolution on or before the last sitting day prior to the winter adjournment.