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Wednesday, 24 August 1983
Page: 151

Mr DUFFY (Minister for Communications)(11.17) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Television Stations Licence Fees Amendment Bill, the companion measure to the Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Amendment Bill, will increase revenue from licence fees by about $2.36m in 1983-84. The Government is concerned that due notice should be taken of the ability of the television industry to pay. Accordingly, the measures contained in this Bill will affect the 16 stations, out of a total of 50 commercial television stations, with the highest turnovers.

The proposed changes to the fee scales consist of a small increase in licence fee rates for television stations with average gross earnings in excess of $9m and an increase in the maximum licence fee rates payable by television stations from 7.5 per cent to 8 per cent of average gross earnings. These changes will be effective from 1 September 1983. The Government is concerned to achieve the maximum possible Australian content in respect of films and television programs. The Government will be considering proposals to encourage production of Australian programs, particularly proposals which are in the nature of offsets to the licence fee increases. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Dr Harry Edwards) adjourned.