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Thursday, 11 November 1976

Mr Eric Robinson (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) -I want first of all to make the point that the budgetary restraints placed upon the Australian Broadcasting Commission were no greater than the restraints placed upon the rest of Government expenditure. I am aware that yesterday there was a meeting of the Commission and a decision was taken to reduce expenditure by $2m. It has been decided that there will be a reduction or an elimination of some programs. State of the Nation, This Day Tonight, Monday Conference and others have been mentioned in that context. I would be prepared to say that of course we would like the Australian Broadcasting Commission to maintain the highest possible number of public affairs programs, particularly if they are presented in an objective manner. When the Chairman of the Commission writes to me, as I understand he proposes to do, putting the facts before me, I will study them and if I believe that they justify an approach to the Government, that approach will be .made.

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