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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Sir CHARLES MARR (Parkes) . - I oppose the amendment. The Government has included in the bill the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Broadcasting, based upon a recognition of the work which the members of the commission will be called upon to do. It is not suggested that £300 a year would be adequate remuneration if the commissioners were required to give all their time to the work, and neither is it suggested that they should be required to live in Canberra. The money is not to be regarded as a salary; it is only an allowance, which will do little more than cover out-of-pocket expenses. One member of the present commission resides in "Western Australia, and though he is paid travelling expenses, they are barely sufficient to recoup him for his outlay. The committee took the view that the chairman of the commission has a great deal more work to do than have the other members.

Mr Sheehan - What does the general manager do?

Sir CHARLES MARR - He is responsible for general administration, but he does not control policy. That is the responsibility of the commission. Whilst it is provided that the general manager shall attend meetings of the commission, he is in an altogether different position from the chairman. Even £1,250 a year would not be sufficient remuneration for the chairman if he were required to devote all his time to the work. The committee was of opinion that the chairman has done an excellent job, and if he be re-appointed to the position he will be able to carry that work to a satisfactory conclusion. In the circumstances I am convinced that an allowance of £1,250 a year is little enough.

Mr Jolly - How do the present allowances compare with those previously paid?

Sir CHARLES MARR - The previous allowances were £500 a year for the chairman, £400 for the deputy chairman, and £300 a year for the other members.

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