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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3041


Mr DONALD CAMERON (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   What is the area of ministerial responsibility of (a) the Minister for the Media and (b) the Minister for Health with respect to the laws and regulations governing advertising within Australia.

(2)   Has an inter-departmental committee been appointed to investigate the laws and regulations governing advertising within Australia.

(3)   If so, which departments are represented on the inter-departmental committee.


Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (l)(a) The area of responsibility of the Minister for the Media with respect to the laws and regulations governing advertising within Australia is laid down in the Broadcasting and Television Act. Section 100(6) gives the Director-General of Health power over advertising of medical material on radio and television subject to appeal to the Minister for the Media. Otherwise, powers relating to advertising on radio and television are vested by the Broadcasting and Television Act in the Australian Broadcasting Control Board.

(b)   The Minister for Health is responsible for health laws in the Australian Capital Territory. Those laws include section 46 of the Pharmacy Ordinance 1931-1972 which provides- (1.) A person shall not publish any statement, whether by way of advertisement or otherwise, to promote the sale of any article as a medicine, instrument or appliance for the alleviation or cure of any, venereal disease, or disease affecting the generative organs or functions, or of sexual impotence, or of any complaint or infirmity arising from or relating to sexual intercourse, or of female or menstrual irregularities, or for terminating pregnancy, or influencing the course of pregnancy.' Section 46(1) was recently amended to remove from the sub-section a prohibition on the advertising of contraceptives.

Other relevant health laws for the Australian Capital Territory include regulation 13 of the Public Health (Sale of Food and Drugs) Regulations which authorises the Minister for Health to prohibit the advertising or sale of food, drugs, articles or apparatus which, in his opinion, are injurious to life or health.

In addition the Director-General of Health is given a responsibility under Section 100(6) of the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942-1972, which requires the texts ofradio or television advertisements relating to medicines to be approved by him.

(2)   and (3) I am not aware of any interdepartmental committee investigating the laws and regulations governing advertising within Australia.







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