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Tuesday, 2 May 1961

Mr DAVIDSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - 1 agree with the implication of the question asked by the honorable member for Wakefield that the medium of television offers a very great opportunity for education in various fields, particularly in the passing on to rural industries of the latest developments in the agricultural techniques. I would say that television offers very great prospects in the field of general education. For some time, the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the education authorities have been holding discussions in order to see how these possibilities can best be exploited. I suggest to the honorable member for Wakefield that the appreciation by the commission of the value which this medium of television may have in rural matters can best be assessed by reference to the service which the commission has given in the field of agricultural development and rural instruction by means of radio broadcasts. I think the honorable member will agree with me that the commission has already rendered great service to rural people by means of the various programmes which it makes available over the radio to the rural community. The commission, having established that it realizes fully the value of radio broadcasting in this field, will, I am sure, continue its policy through the medium of television. I conclude by saying that the development of television services in country areas which is now being undertaken will enable the Australian Broadcasting Commission to maintain this policy and to extend its application.

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