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Wednesday, 31 August 1994
Page: 743

(Question No. 1551)

Senator Brownhill asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 5 July 1994:

  (1) Has the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) ceased its daily broadcasts of share price lists on regional radio networks.

  (2) Has the ABC received complaints about removal of this service; if so, what response has it provided to those listeners.

  (3) If the service has been stopped, what is the reason.

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

  (1) The ABC ceased the broadcast of the full call of the Stock Exchange board on regional radio approximately three years ago.

  However, ABC Regional Radio provides a wide range of information programs, including finance and marketing information, for both the business and rural communities. Stock market information is provided on ABC Regional Radio at 1.33pm each weekday. This report, which comes directly from the Stock Exchange, contains the latest details of major share price movements and stock market trends. Most regional stations throughout Australia provide a finance report, covering international monetary movement and stock trends during the Breakfast program and an updated stock market, including major business information with an assessment of Exchange activity, during the Drivetime program. More general finance analysis is provided on weekdays in current affairs programs such as "AM" at 8.00am and "PM" at 6.10pm. In addition, "The World Today" at 1.00pm carries a significant component of international financial analysis and current affairs.

  (2) The ABC received a small number of complaints about the removal of this service. Complainants were advised by ABC Regional Management of the reasons for discontinuing the service and provided with the times that financial and market information is broadcast in their particular region on their local ABC Radio station.

  (3) The ABC advises me that because of the range of information available for the serious investor from sources other than radio, the lengthy recitations of stock market prices were discontinued in favour of providing information on, and analysis of, major activity in the finance and business world. The kind of reportage on ABC Regional Radio, on programs such as "The World Today", is intended to inform the general listener wanting to keep abreast of both political and financial activity within and outside Australia. Finance and stock market reports on Regional Radio, such as the 1.33pm stock market report, provide indicators of the various markets rather than long lists of individual prices.