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Tuesday, 13 November 1973

Senator POYSER -I ask the Minister for the Media whether the increased level of interest about Australia in the United States of America, which was very evident around the time of the election last year from the amount of space devoted to this country in American magazines, is being maintained. What is being done to further the awareness of Australia in the United States?

Senator DOUGLASMcCLELLANDFirstly, since the election of the Labor Government the Prime Minister has visited the United States of America and as a result of that visit there was tremendous publicity for Australia in that country. The Australian Information Service of my Department has assisted some 65 or 70 publicists from the United States, all of whom have provided a high level of return in media coverage of this country. Additionally, it is expected that on 8 December, I think it is, some 80 million American viewers will watch the Carol Burnett Show' which was recorded in the Sydney Opera House. That production, of course, will show scenes of the Sydney Opera House and of the city of Sydney itself. However, gratifying as the additional interest in Australia that has been generated in America may be, the real challenge in creating an awareness of our nation appears to me to lie in Asia and our immediate neighbours. Already my Department has established an information office in Wellington, New Zealand. An additional posting has been made to Osaka, Japan, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and I and our departments are having discussions on posts for information officers that should be opened by the Government.

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