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Wednesday, 28 October 1964

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - Senator Cant referred to interference at Waroona in Western Australia. This problem is beyond the scope of our discussion here, but I assure the honorable senator that the matter will be examined closely by technical officers of the PostmasterGeneral's Department. Senator McClelland referred to the position in Papua and New Guinea. He will be pleased to know that a number of Papuans and New Guineans are employed by the Commission. Indeed, two Papuan journalists are now in Australia for advanced training. As the honorable senator no doubt knows, we have short wave and medium wave stations at Port Moresby and Rabaul. An extension of this service is under review. The honorable senator made some general observations about the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. I shall see that attention is directed to those observations.

I thank Senator Wright for his contribution to the discussion. He drew together figures for income and expenditure and presented a very clear picture of the contribution that is being made by the Government to broadcasting and television services over and above the revenue that is raised from listeners and viewers. I know that Senator Wright did not intend to do so, but I rather thought he spoke in terms of four commercial stations in the capital cities. As he would know, there are three commercial stations in the capital cities.

Senator Wright - Four in all.

Senator ANDERSON - Yes. The fourth station is the national station. A full inquiry is undertaken before a licence is issued. The only matter to which reference was made related to the increased expenditure under Division No. 838, item 01. It covers increased expenditure of £321,600 on the maintenance of current activities, and £408,000 for other unavoidable expenditure, which includes increases in the basic wage costing no less than £250,000, adjustments to cover increased prices for the purchase of rights in overseas films, and expenditure on rental facilities for country television stations and the like.

The item also covers expenditure of £559,600 on the transfer to radio technical services, and expenditure on television educational programmes which was increased by £93,000. This was an amount required for the extension of television programmes for schools and bridging courses for students who have completed their secondary education but are not fully prepared for tertiary education. There was an increase of £51,000 for staff training and experimental programmes; increased expenditure of £72,000 on television development, and of £15,000 on radio development; and additional staff was required which involved an expenditure of £96,000. In closing this debate I want to express my thanks to all honorable senators who took part in it for their indulgence in relation to my handling of the estimates.

Proposed expenditure noted.

Sitting suspended from 5.43 to 8 p.m.

Proposed expenditures - Department of Trade and Industry, £5,531,000; Department of the Treasury, £88,258,000; Depart ment of the Treasury (special expenditure) £1,190,000- noted.

Advance to the Treasurer.

Proposed expenditure, £16,000,000.

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