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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 993


Senator WILLESEE - I ask a question of the Acting Postmaster-General. Does the Minister propose, when filling the vacancy on the Australian Broadcasting Commission caused by the death of Brigadier Masel, to follow precedent and have the replacement appointed only for the balance of what was Brigadier Masel's term? When does the Minister expect to be able to announce the name of the replacement?


Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - Only yesterday the General Manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission informed me that there was a vacancy. As far as I can ascertain, it has been in existence for approximately 6 weeks. I understand that the Postmaster-General, who as honourable senators know is ill, has the matter under consideration.


Senator Willesee - Would the Minister speak up? I cannot hear him. The sound reinforcement system is not functioning.


Senator COTTON - 1 think I should start again. Only yesterday the General Manager of the Broadcasting Commission came to talk to me. Among the things he discussed was the vacancy on the Broadcasting Commission caused by the death of Brigadier Masel who, I understand, was a distinguished member of the Commission. I am informed-


Senator Keeffe - Will the Minister speak up? We still cannot hear him.


The PRESIDENT - Order! I have instructed the Usher of the Black Rod to investigate what is happening with the sound system in the chamber. Until such time as he reports back to me honourable senators will have to be patient.


Senator COTTON - 1 do not think I will begin again. 1 will do my best to pick up where I left off. The problem due to the lack of microphone capacity is compounded by the youthful interjections from the other side. I understand that Brigadier Masel was a distinguished member of the Commission. The Postmaster-General has in mind the re-appointment position. As honourable senators know, he is ill. I expect him to be back before very long. I shall be in touch with the PostmasterGeneral's Department and the Commission about the matter.







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