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Tuesday, 4 December 1973
Page: 2368


Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) -My question is directed to the Minister for the Media. I ask it against the growing background of distortion and misrepresentation of the Opposition's case on the current education controversy. I ask: Will the Minister again pursue his inquiries of Commissioners of the Australian Broadcasting Commission to ascertain why, in the current controversy over the States Grants (Schools) Bill, the program 'A.M.' on the morning of Friday last, 30 November, gave publicity only to the Government's viewpoint by featuring both the Acting Minister for Education, Mr Lionel Bowen, and the President of the Australian Labor Party, Mr Hawke, and no Opposition spokesman? Will he again remind the Commissioners of the ABC that their charter of freedom and independence requires them to maintain objectivity and carries an obligation to give both sides in the controversy a fair go?


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am sure that there is no need to remind the Commissioners of the ABC of their overall responsibility to ensure that everybody is given a fair go. I am satisfied that they have done this to date and that, in their ensuring of it, there has been an overall balancing out of programming activities. Senator Greenwood asked me a question along these lines last week. I provided information on this matter to the honourable senator and it has satisfied me beyond doubt that they were setting out to achieve an overall balancing of their programming. I will certainly make inquiries of the Commission to ascertain what other programs were involved, stating the Opposition's case on the education controversy without the Government's viewpoint having been reported.







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