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Tuesday, 7 December 1976

Mr Eric Robinson (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) - The Government rejects the amendment. It is not a question of concern or speculation that the Government wants to have 'its nominees' on this particular Tribunal. The Tribunal will be quite different from the Australian Broadcasting Commission. It will be an entirely new body. As honourable members will know, 2 members of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board will retire at the end of December this year anyhow. I do not rule out that people who have served on the Control Board might be invited to serve on the Tribunal. The Tribunal will not have part time members; it will have associate members. I see no relationship, in principle, to the comparison with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. We want to have associate members with specific knowledge about problems which will be tackled by the new Tribunal. I reject any suggestion that there is any attempt at political interference. The Australian Broadcasting Control Board is being disbanded. This is an entirely new body. The Government cannot accept the amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 6.

Section 16 of the Principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted:

1   6. ( 1 ) The functions of the Tribunal are to perform the duties and to exercise the powers imposed or conferred upon it by other provisions of this Act and, in addition-

(a)   to determine the standards to be observed by licensees in respect of broadcasting or televising of programs;

(b)   to determine the conditions subject to which advertisements may be broadcast or televised by licensees; and

(c)   to determine the hours during which programs are to be or may be broadcast or televised by licensees, and include such other functions in relation to broadcasting stations and television stations as are prescribed.'

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