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Thursday, 1 April 1965

Senator HANNAN (VICTORIA) - My questions are directed to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General. Is it a fact that Austarama Television Pty. Ltd., the holder of the television licence Channel 0 in Melbourne, undertook to provide 58 per cent. Australian content in its programmes? Is it a fact that, among other things, that company promised to present weekly a play of H hours duration written and produced in Australia; a half-hour situation comedy built around a Melbourne family; a programme on Australian affairs entitled " Walkabout "; a variety show of 60 minutes duration; a cultural corroboree each Sunday night; an hour long historical series set in Victoria; and a teenage show each Saturday? Is it a fact that this undertaking was given on oath by a witness for the company during its application for a television licence? Is it a fact that the Australian content of Channel 0 programmes is at the moment the barest fraction of 58 per cent. - in the vicinity of 15 per cent? If so, will the Minister explain to the Senate the significance, if any, attached by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to this type of assurance in hearing applications for television licences? Is it a factor which weighs heavily in favour of an applicant making the highest Australian bid? If so, will appropriate action be taken to ascertain why this assurance has not been observed? How many dramatic programmes made in Australia have been transmitted by Channel 0 since its inception and what has been the percentage of Australian content in Channel 0 programmes for the first three months of 1965?

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