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Clarke and Dawe on TV's big windfall -

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KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Time now for John Clarke and Bryan Dawe on the Government's $250 million
windfall concession to commercial television.

BRYAN DAWE: Senator Conroy, thanks for your time.

JOHN CLARKE: Nice to see you, Brian. What are we talking about?

BRYAN DAWE: Well, we're talking about broadcasting policies, senator.

JOHN CLARKE: Yes, for Channel 2, isn't it?

BRYAN DAWE: Well, the ABC.

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, well, fine, we might as well talk broad... Continue anyway, talk about
broadcasting anyway.

BRYAN DAWE: Pardon?

JOHN CLARKE: We might as well talk about it anyway, since I'm here.

BRYAN DAWE: Well, we are part of the broadcasting industry, senator.

JOHN CLARKE: The ABC?

BRYAN DAWE: Yes.

JOHN CLARKE: Technically, I suppose, that's right.

BRYAN DAWE: Of course we are! Of course we are!

JOHN CLARKE: I suppose, you're right but I've never seen you up there.

BRYAN DAWE: Up where?

JOHN CLARKE: On the slopes.

BRYAN DAWE: slopes?

JOHN CLARKE: Have you got a lodge or do you go there for the day? I have never seen you up there,
Brian.

BRYAN DAWE: Senator Conroy, why have you given the commercial television operators a government
subsidy of $250 million?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, I haven't, I keep reading that I've done that, Brian, but it's not what I've
done.

BRYAN DAWE: Well, what have you done? If you haven't done that, what have you actually done?

JOHN CLARKE: What we have done is waive the licence fee.

BRYAN DAWE: To the tune of how much?

JOHN CLARKE: $250 million.

BRYAN DAWE: And who did they owe the licence fee to?

JOHN CLARKE: The $250 million? That was owed to the Government.

BRYAN DAWE: Government, yes, of course.

And who has that Government money now that you have waivered the fees.

JOHN CLARKE: Well, the commercial TV licence holders.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, well that's my point, Senator. Why?

JOHN CLARKE: So they can keep the money.

BRYAN DAWE: But in what sense isn't this a subsidy?

JOHN CLARKE: Brian, it would be - It's not a subsidy at all. If it were a subsidy, we would be
giving money to them.

BRYAN DAWE: Same thing, isn't it?

JOHN CLARKE: It's not the same thing.

BRYAN DAWE: Well hang on, same concept

JOHN CLARKE: It's a totally different.

BRYAN DAWE: Just different wording.

JOHN CLARKE: No, it's a different...

BRYAN DAWE: Oh, come on, Senator, please!

JOHN CLARKE: Brian, look, Tony Abbott had an audience with Rupert Murdoch recently.

BRYAN DAWE: Yes, we know that.

JOHN CLARKE: Do you imagine that that is in any way similar to Rupert Murdoch having an audience
with Tony Abbott? It's a totally different concept.

BRYAN DAWE: But Senator Conroy, why do commercial broadcasters need help from the Government?

JOHN CLARKE: Because they are so successful, Brian.

BRYAN DAWE: Sorry. They are going so well, you've got to give them money.

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, that's right. It's very, very competitive out there.

BRYAN DAWE: Are you serious? There were three of them!

JOHN CLARKE: There are three... SBS carries commercials.

BRYAN DAWE: Well, why don't you fund that properly?

JOHN CLARKE: You're not a skier, are you Brian?

BRYAN DAWE: No I am not.

JOHN CLARKE: No, I didn't think I'd ever seen you. I think some of these ideas are better
understood perhaps at altitude.

BRYAN DAWE: What things?

JOHN CLARKE: What we are doing, Brian, is trying to encourage Australian content, to tell our
stories.

BRYAN DAWE: Right, you want to stimulate the creative community.

JOHN CLARKE: Aw, yeah, we may as well do that while up there. Yeah.

BRYAN DAWE: But doesn't the system need changing, though?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, we are changing it, Brian. The point I repeatedly make is that we've waived the
fees.

BRYAN DAWE: But have you got the right model, is my point. Have you got the right model?

JOHN CLARKE: We've got a market model, Brian. Stuff goes on, if it rates, they keep it on, if it
doesn't rate they take it off.

BRYAN DAWE: Well, so the market is the domestic advertising market.

JOHN CLARKE: The market is Australia, Brian. We are the Australian government.

BRYAN DAWE: But isn't the market really the world television market? Don't we buy our programs from
Britain and America?

JOHN CLARKE: I don't understand at all, Brian. I mean, I had goggles on. Be fair, I couldn't hear
everything.

BRYAN DAWE: Senator Conroy, thanks for your time.

JOHN CLARKE: You think we should be selling television programs into the real international market
for television programs?

BRYAN DAWE: Yes.

JOHN CLARKE: Can we get some glühwein? It's cold, isn't it?