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Thursday, 26 February 1987
Page: 745

(Question No. 1493)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 13 November 1986:

(1) How many films have been shown by Qantas on its international service in each of the last 3 financial years.

(2) How many of these films were made in Australia.

(3) Is it a fact that for the month of October 1986 no Australian films were shown.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Qantas has screened 72 feature films since November 1982. Four different movies are shown on the various routes at any one time, each for a period of two months, making a total of 24 films shown each year.

(2) Four of these films have been Australian made, namely: Phar Lap (screened for four months), Careful He Might Hear You, Undercover and Coolangatta Gold. However, a further seven Australian made films, including Gallipoli and The Man from Snowy River were shown between 1980-1983.

(3) No Australian films were shown during October 1986.

Qantas has advised that it is Company policy to give preference to Australian films, provided they meet its normal selection criteria with respect to subject matter, quality and passenger acceptance.

In this respect the Company will be screening ``Crocodile Dundee'' and ``Malcolm'' during the first half of this year.

The Company has advised that a major problem with the screening of Australian made movies is that present inflight film screening facilities are not always compatible with the format of Australian movies. To overcome this the company is installing new video equipment throughout the fleet and it is expected that once completed in April this year, the Company will be able to greatly increase the number of Australian films shown on its flights.

In addition, the Company is proposing to hold a ``Selling to the Airlines'' seminar in October this year to acquaint local film makers with the needs of the airline market in general, and Qantas in particular. The Company has noted a marked unwillingness on the part of Australian producers to accept airline bookings and it is hoped that the forthcoming seminar will help overcome most of the problems in this area.