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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1920


Mr HAMER (ISAACS, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Postmaster-General. Has the new voluntary code to restrict television advertising of cigarettes to young people come into force? Does this code frown on advertising of cigarettes between 4 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.? Is it a fact that a recent survey by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board showed that a high proportion of 13-year olds are watching television as late as 9.30 p.m.?. In these circumstances does the Minister think that the voluntary code is a serious attempt to reduce the exposure of young people to advertising of this drug of addiction which is a known health hazard?


Sir ALAN HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - The television advertising of cigarettes and tobacco in Australia has been a controversial matter for a very long time. The selling and the use of cigarettes and tobacco have never been prohibited by any government. Since commercial television organisations depend upon advertising revenue to conduct their operations, it is believed by the Government that there should be no prohibition on advertising of cigarettes and tobacco. The Government has been advised through the Department of Health, which in turn has received advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council, and the views . which have been expressed have been taken into consideration by the Government. Discussions have taken place between the Department of Health, the Australian Broadcasting

Control Board and the cigarette and tobacco companies. The latter have developed a voluntary code which was brought into operation on 1st October. I should like to let the honourable member have a copy of the new code.

Included in it is a requirement that there should not be advertising of cigarettes and tobacco in close proximity to children's programmes but in any case that there should not be a telecasting of this advertising between 4 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. The honourable gentleman asked whether the Board indicated that 37 per cent of 13-year olds are watching television at 9.30 p.m. The answer, of course, is yes. But I do not believe that this necessarily has a relationship because, as has been explained by the Board and by me, the Broadcasting Control Board believes that adults substantially undertake viewing from 7.30 p.m. onwards and that the responsibility for children watching television after that hour lies with parents. It is not the responsibility of the Broadcasting Control Board or the Government.







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