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Tuesday, 16 November 1976
Page: 2739


Mr INNES (Melbourne) -Mr Speaker,I wish to raise a question that is motivating the minds of people who are responsible for the wellbeing of ethnic communities and who take strong exception to the type of journalism that creates dissension, cleavage and division not only between ethnic communities themselves but also the ethnic communities and the people born of Anglo-Saxon parentage in this country. I wish to refer to the depths of degradation to which individuals will go to pervert their own people's standing or occupation. It is difficult to contemplate how this occurs. For instance, the headline appeared recently: 'Greek Woman Raped'. It does not matter a damn whether the woman is Greek, Italian or Australian. The fact is that a woman was raped and -


Mr Sullivan - Where?


Mr INNES - That is the mentality of this imbecile who does nothing else but interject on issues, when he ought to be giving very serious consideration to -


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member will continue with his speech.


Mr INNES -But the mentality is that low that would hardly expect him to understand.


Mr Baume - Mr Speaker,I rise to take a point of order. Is it proper to describe any member of this House as an imbecile?


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman to whom the remark was directed did not call for a withdrawal. I call the honourable member for Melbourne.


Mr INNES - Mr Speaker,I point to examples of that nature that appear day after day. There is no relevance in making reference to whence the individual comes. It is purely and simply a method of sensationalism in journalism. A number of people from ethnic communities have taken exception to it.


Mr Sullivan


Mr INNES - I am just about to ask the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Viner), who is at the table, for permission to incorporate in Hansard a letter from the Australian Greek Welfare Society in which very strong exception is taken to this kind of reporting. I ask leave to incorporate the letter in Hansard.


Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

The document read as follows-

QUESTION

AUSTRALIAN GREEK WELFARE SOCIETY

168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 3000

Phone: 662-2868 662-2660 21 October, 1976

Patron:

Bishop Aristarchos

Mr A.S. Heinrichs,

Secretary,

The Australian Press Council,

P.O.BoxN23,

GrosvenorSt.,

Sydney 2000

Dear Sir,

The Australian Greek Welfare Society submits the front page of the 'Gladstone Progress' and the 'Standard Times' both printed on the 13.10.76 and also the 'Gladstone Progress ' of the 20. 10.76.

We believe that the articles are against the principles laid down by the Australian Press Council (propositions 8, 9 and 10) and are irresponsible pieces of journalism. We believe that the articles are detrimental to the Australian-Greek Community. The Australian Greek Welfare Society requests that the Australian Press Council investigates these articles.

Yours faithfully, (Dr) Spiro Moraitis,

President,

Australian Greek Welfare Socety c.c. The Hon. Mr. W. Jona. c.c. The Hon. Mr Mackellar. c.c. Mr U. E. Innes. c.c. Mr Bill Landeryou.

Community Services Centre c.c. The Hon. Mr Grassby.


Mr INNES - The letter raises the question of the type of journalism exhibited in the Press on 13 October 1976 and 20 October 1976 regarding the problem between the local Australian-Greek citizens and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The type of journalism to which exception was taken appeared in the Chadstone Progress of 20 October 1976 and the Standard Times of 13 October 1976. The articles are headed: 'Greek Split over Church Application' and 'Greek Threat of Violence; Bitter Row over the Church; petition before the council'. We ought to be encouraging the ethnic community and doing what we as Australians can do to try to resolve the problems and difficulties within the ethnic community. It is not good enough for journalists to endeavour to throw the matter out into the open. This raises the question of the irresponsible journalism which we have come to expect.


Mr Sullivan - I rise to order. I found the remark made by the honourable member for Melbourne extremely offensive. I gave him an opportunity to withdraw it. I ask now that he withdraw that remark.







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