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Free speach battles with political advertising ban



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Senator Grant Tambling Shadow Minister for Regional Development, External Territories and Northern Australia

Media Release FREE SPEECH BATTLES WITH POLITICAL ADVERTISING BAN

Suspicion surrounds the Labor Party's proposal to ban political advertising on television and radio. People are seriously questioning the motives of the Hawke Government and are now weighing up the cost of Labor's muzzling of our democratic right

to free speech.

Senator Tambling highlighted this crucial issue in this week's Senate debate on the Political Broadcasts and Political Disclosures Bill.

"The situation is even worse for the people who are living in rural and remote Australia and who have limited access to newspapers and direct mail. The irony is that, whilst radio and television have brought regional and metropolitan Australia together, the Hawke Labor Government is trying to force political communication back to the nineteenth century" Senator Tambling

said.

"Under the ban, it is particularly important to note that Aboriginal communities, like other communities in remote and rural areas, would be denied the right to hear the views of political parties and to assess criticism of a government's performance."

"Surely this proposed advertising ban also makes a mockery of the policies of the Australian Democrats and the Government who are seeking a special Council of Reconciliation in the Aboriginal portfolio. We are talking about participation of Aboriginal Australians in the Australian Community and the importance of

free speech."

The Bill (Broadcasting Act 1945), breaks with recent convention by not treating the Northern Territory as a State. "I therefore support the efforts of the Northern Territory Chief Minister, Marshall Perron, to amend the Bill so that the Northern Territory

can be treated consistently with the States," he said.

The Senate has now referred the Bill to a select committee of the Senate for inquiry and report by 5 November 1991.

"I hope people and organisations in remote Australia will make submissions to the Senate Committee".

Ends 14.8.91 Contact! Senator Grant Tambling 06-2773436 Alan Ashley 06-2773436

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