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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 108

Question No. 255

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 26 May 1983:

On what work is the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal presently engaged.

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice from the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, is as follows:

Public Inquiries:

The Tribunal's known commitments in respect of public inquiries for the months of June and July 1983 are as follows:



Nature of hearing

Tuesday 14.6.83


Licence Grants: Gosford/Wyong Television Translators (Preliminary Hearings)

Wednesday 15.6.83


Licence Renewals: 4AY Ayr and 4GC Charters Towers (Contemporaneous Inquiry) 4TO Townsville.

Thursday 16.6.83


Joined Inquiries: Licence Renewals TNQ-7 Townsville and Translators/Share Transaction TNQ/FNQ Cairns 4AY/4GC/4LM Mt Isa

Monday 20.6.83


Licence Renewal: 4MK Mackay

Tuesday 21.6.83


Joined Inquiries: Licence Renewal/Share Transaction-MVQ-6 Mackay and Translators

Wednesday 22.6.83


Licence Renewals: FNQ-10 Cairns and Translators 4CA Cairns

Thursday 23.6.83


Licence Renewal: 4KZ Innisfail

Friday 24.6.83


Joined Inquiries: Licence Renewal/Share Transaction 4AM Mareeba

Monday 27.6.83

Coffs Harbour

Licence Grants: Commercial Broadcasting and Translator Station licences to serve Coffs Harbour

Monday 11.7.83


Licence Renewal: TVQ Brisbane

Tuesday 12.7.83


Licence Renewal: QTQ Brisbane

Thursday 14.7.83

Mt Isa

Licence Renewals: 4LM Mt Isa ITQ Mt Isa

Dates have not yet been set, but the Tribunal is also committed to hold inquiries into the following:

(i) Review of the requirements for the broadcasting of Australian music performances;

(ii) An application by the AMP Society to be registered as a lender under the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942 ('The Act').

(iii) The acquisition of commercial television station MTN Griffith.

The Minister has stated that he intends to ask the Tribunal to hold any Inquiry into the introduction of a Fairness Code for broadcasting. However, no formal reference has been made at this stage.

The licences for the following stations expire on 31 August, 9 September and 30 September 1983, and reports are currently being prepared by the Program Services and Licensing Divisions on the operations of the stations. It is likely that public inquiries will be required for most, if not all of these licence renewals .



COMMERCIAL BROADCASTING STATIONS: 2OO Wollongong; 6KA Dampier/Karratha/Roebourne ; 6NW Port Hedland




30 September 1983 COMMERCIAL TELEVISION STATIONS: DDQ Darling Downs; SDQ Southern Downs; SEQ Wide Bay; RTQ Rockhampton

COMMERCIAL TELEVISION TRANSLATOR STATIONS: DDQ-5A Toowoomba; RTQ-5 Cracow; RTQ- 10 Blackwater Bluff; RTQ-10 Gladstone; SEQ-1 Gympie; SEQ-5 Monto; SEQ-10 Nambour

COMMERCIAL BROADCASTING STATIONS: 4AK Oakey; 4BU Bundaberg; 4CD Gladstone; 4GR Toowoomba; 4GY Gympie; 4HI Emerald; 4LG Longreach; 4MB Maryborough; 4NA Nambour; 4RO Rockhampton; 4SB Kingaroy; 4VL Charleville; 4WK Warwick; 4ZR Roma.



Public Inquiry Reports

The Tribunal has had an extremely heavy work load in recent months with inquiries having been conducted in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, the Riverina, Victoria and the Gold Coast. Some of the inquiries held in Perth and Kalgoorlie were very lengthy. Final reports in respect of all inquiries, details of which are set out below, are in the process of being completed. The decisions and reasons for decisions have been published for most of the inquiries.

Date of


(1) Licence Renewals: 7BU Burnie; 7LA Launceston; 7EX Launceston; 7SD Scottsdale; 7AD Devonport; 7THE Hobart

February- March 1983 Licence Grant: Geeveston Public Broadcasting Station

Licence Transfers: 7HT Hobart; 7LA Launceston; 7QT Queenstown

(2) Licence Renewal/Share Transaction: 3CV Maryborough

March 1983

(3) Licence Renewals: Adelaide commercial and public broadcasting stations

March 1983

(4) Licence Renewals: All South Australian country stations, and stations 2BH Broken Hill and BKN Broken Hill

April 1983

(5) Licence Renewals: Perth commercial broadcasting stations

April 1983

(6) Licence Renewals: All Western Australia stations south of and including Geraldton.

April 1983

(7) Licence Renewals: 2WG Wagga; 2AY Albury; 2QN Deniliquin; RVN-2 South Western Slopes and Eastern Riverina, and AMV-4 Upper Murray

April/May 1983

(8) Share Transaction: Station 3YB Warrnambool

May 1983

(9) Licence Renewals: Victorian country commercial stations 3BO Bendigo; 3CS Colac; 3CV Maryborough; 3MA Mildura; 3SH Swan Hill; 3WM Horsham; 3NE Wangaratta; 3SR Shepparton; 3TR Sale and 3UL Warragul; BCV-8 Bendigo; GMV-6 Goulburn Valley; GLV-8 Latrobe Valley; STV-8 Mildura; Public broadcasting station 3GCR Churchill

May 1983

(10) Licence Renewal: Public broadcasting station 3MBS Melbourne

May 1983

(11) Licence Grant: Gold Coast public broadcasting station.

May 1983

Other Licensing Matters

During the period July 1982 to May 1983, the Tribunal considered some 150 transactions requiring approval pursuant to the provisions of sections 90J or 92F of the Act. In addition, the Tribunal granted its approval pursuant to section 89A of the Act for the transfer of 5 commercial broadcasting station licences and 1 commercial television station licence.

A further 8 ownership or control transactions requiring approval, as well as a status report on some 40 transactions on which decisions are pending, will be considered by the Tribunal at its meeting on 10 June 1983.

Program Matters

In addition to its ongoing evaluation of, and reporting on, the program services of commercial and public stations, including reporting on compliance with the requirements of the Act and the Tribunal's program and advertising standards, and investigation of complaints regarding programs and advertising, the Program Services Division is currently engaged in studies related to the complete review of the Television Program and Advertising Standards. This follows the overall revision of the Broadcasting Program and Advertising Standards completed and promulgated in 1981.

As part of the current review, discussion papers have been released for comment by the industry, public interest groups and individual members of the public. The discussion papers released to date are: Advertising Time Standards, Program Classifications, Religious Matter, Alcohol Advertising and Australian Content, as well as a report prepared by the Children's Program Committee containing recommendations related to Children's Program Standards, Children's Drama Standard and Children's Advertising Standards. Those submissions received on these documents have been analysed and, together with submissions awaited, will be considered by the Tribunal in the Review.


Specific current research projects include the neuro-physiological effects of television, public attitudes to program classification and children's reactions to the television drama series A Country Practice. The Research Branch, in addition, continues its ongoing program of assembling information about the broadcasting and television industries.

Public Meetings

This year the Tribunal has adopted the concept of holding public meetings to provide an opportunity for discussion of various broadcasting issues which are not addressed appropriately within the context of public hearings of inquiries.

To date, there have been meetings in Devonport, Adelaide and Perth, and the next is planned for Brisbane on 11 July 1983.

The meetings have been well attended by both public and the industry, and have been particularly valuable during the present review of the television program standards.


The Tribunal publishes a fortnightly newsletter-'abtee'-which is distributed to approximately 800 individuals, organisations and institutions interested in broadcasting and broadcasting regulations.

The newsletter contains information on the Tribunal's functions and activities, notices of hearings, licence renewals, and frequently contains information about the activities of related bodies such as the Councils for Children's Films and Television.

It is distributed free of charge.

ABT Manual

The Legislations Section is currently engaged on the preparation of the ABT Manual, which will be a loose-leaf updated service comprising policy statements, practice notes, commentaries and other useful information related to the administration of the requirements of the Act, the Broadcasting and Advertising Standards and the Television Program and Advertising Standards.

It is expected that the Manual will be published in the first quarter of 1984, and will be distributed free of charge to licensees, interested groups, and libraries, and made available to the public.

Annual Report

The Secretariat and Public Relations Branch is at present engaged in the co- ordination and preparation of the Tribunal's 1982-83 annual report.

Management Services

On-going administrative support is provided by the Management Services Branch which is responsible for the selection and appointment of staff, finances of the Tribunal, personal matters, accommodation, office services and other matters of an administrative nature.