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Monday, 29 August 1994
Page: 545

(Question No. 1572)


Senator Alston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 20 July 1994:

  (1) Please provide a copy of all material such as reports, papers, etcetera, produced for the department from the following consultancies: (a) Professor David Yencken—Design in Australia; (b) Mr Robin Williams—Science and Culture; (c) Mr Kim Wilson—Popular Music in Contemporary Culture; (d) Mr Fred Brenchley—Relationship between the print media and culture and the effect of new technologies on the delivery of popular print media; (e) Professor Ron Johnston—The role of science and technology within Australian cultural development; (f) Professor Andrew Jakubowicz et al—An overview of the impact of technological change across cultural industries in Australia; (g) Professor Peter Karmel—Development of a conceptual framework for the relationship between cultural development and education and training; (h) Associate Professor Ian Lowe—The role of science in culture; (i) Professor Peter Westerway—New Broadcasting Technologies, Rules and Services; (j) Ms Beth McRae, Associate Professor Stuart Cunningham—Film Cultural Development Activities; (k) Australian Commission for the Future—A Framework for Improving Viability in Selected Sectors of the Cultural Industry; (l) Mr Kim Wilson—Children and Electronic Media; and (m) Ms Gil Appleton—Contribution of broadcasting to Australia's cultural development.

  (2) If it is not possible to provide this material, please provide valid reasons why this material cannot be provided.

  (3) What, if any, valid reasons are there for refusing to provide Senator Patterson through the Senate estimates committee process with a copy of all research and reports emanating from taxpayer-funded consultancies commissioned to assist in the preparation of the Government's proposed cultural statement.

  (4) Would such information be available under the Freedom of Information Act; if not, what is the legal basis for refusing to make it available under that Act.


Senator McMullan —The Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Copies of all material emanating from these consultancies, with the exception of the Commission for the Future report, are not available.

  (2) The reports are working papers for the Cultural Policy Statement.

  The Commission for the Future report is currently available to the public on request (and has been provided to Senator Patterson on two occasions).

  (3) See the answer to question (2).

  (4) Any application under the Freedom of Information Act for access to the information would be considered in accordance with the provisions of that Act.