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Wednesday, 28 October 1964

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) . - In addressing myself to the subject of broadcasting and television services my first thought is to express regret at the absence of Senator Vincent through illness from this debate. His name is signal here for his contribution to this subject when he chaired the Select Committee on the Encouragement of Australia Productions for Television last year. The report of that Committee still awaits the attention of the Minister, who has recently stated that he will try to put it through the process of complete consideration within the next few months, and then put his proposals before the Parliament. It is pleasing to note that the report has not been pigeonholed and is under active consideration in Government circles at present. It is also pleasing to note that it is under active consideration by interests outside the Parliament. I noticed a report the other day that an association was in the course of formation for the very purpose of bringing the Select Committee's report to the attention of the Parliament and pressing for its further adoption.

May I make one comment upon some observations that fell from one of our Temporary Chairmen this afternoon? He seemed to me to be advancing to my colleague, Senator Laught, a view that the source of thought in this Committee debate should be controlled by the Chair. I want to put the opposite view - that debate in this Committee affords an opportunity for each senator to put his thoughts on policy, or on an item, in any way related to the subject matter on the agenda. In this case it is television and broadcasting services. I cannot too often repel any idea that the Chair controls the proposition that an individual senator might wish to advocate. I deplore the fact that the Committee did not receive greater advantage, as I would have expected, from what fell from Senator Ormonde.

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