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Coalition to fight political advertising ban



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65/91 19 March 1991

COALITION TO FIGHT POLITICAL ADVERTISING BAN

The Hawke Cabinet's decision today to ban political advertising on radio and television is absolutely outrageous.

. We live in a television age, yet the Government is trying to force political communication back into the 19th century.

This is the first dirty trick of the next election. Bob Hawke's idea of a fair go is that when he gets into trouble he moves the goal posts after the game has started.

Against this background, I have reconstituted the Coalition's Fair Elections Task Force.

This Task Force was originally set up in September 1989 to target electoral rorts by the Labor Government.

The Task Force will be chaired by Deputy Leader Peter Reith and will have the objective of resisting Labor's attempt to muzzle free political speech in Australia.

Members of the Task Force are Dr Michael Wooldridge (Vic), Mr Michael Cobb (NSW), Senator Michael Baume (NSW), Senator Warwick Parer (Qld), Mr Peter Fisher (Vic), Senator John Olsen (SA), Senator Sue Knowles (WA), Mr Christopher Miles (Tas), Mr

Russell Broadbent (Vic), Senator Bronwyn Bishop (NSW), Senator Ian McDonald (Qld), Mr Paul Filing (WA), and Senator Amanda Vanstone (SA).

The Government's plans to prevent paid political advertising are designed solely to save Labor's skin at the next election.

The Labor Party is heavily in debt from the last election and knows, with its present low level of support from business and the community, that it will not have enough money to fight the next.

So it is trying to "nobble" the Coalition.

That is Labor's real motive.

The conclusion to be drawn is that the Labor Party, with Bob Hawke as Leader, believes it will be at a significant

disadvantage to the Coalition in head to head television

advertising in the next Federal campaign.

COMMONWEALTH PA R LIA M EN TA R Y UBRAR’ MiCAH