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Wednesday, 22 August 1984
Page: 128

Senator COLSTON —I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Communications. Is the publication News and Views (Queensland) a publication registered by Australia Post? If so, for how long has it been so registered? What advantages accrue from such registration? What requirements have to be fulfilled before a publication can be registered by Australia Post? Is it permissible for a fascist, untruthful smear sheet such as News and Views ( Queensland) to be granted registration by Australia Post?

Senator BUTTON —I have a surprising degree of wisdom on this matter, Senator Colston having given me advance notice of his question. News and Views ( Queensland) is registered under Australia Post's registered publications service . It was first registered in July 1983. Of course, the advantage which publications of this kind and other kinds gain from registration is reduced postal charges.

Guidelines are applied in determining whether a periodical shall be registered. In essence they are: A publication is eligible for registration if its proprietors or persons controlling the editorial content and distribution of the paper intend to produce no fewer than four issues throughout the year; do not intend to produce or distribute the publication from outside Australia; are not, except for educational establishments, the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or a statutory body; and do not intend to produce during registration a publication with more than 50 per cent of the written and pictorial content devoted to the activities or concerns of a department or departments. They are the essential guidelines which allow a publication to be registered or otherwise.

In short, News and Views (Queensland), the publication to which Senator Colston refers, is eligible for registration under Australia Post's guidelines. I think the judgmental decisions which have to be made by people are best made by individuals in society. Senator Colston has clearly made them. Not being a regular subscriber to or reader of News and Views (Queensland), I am unable to make my own, but I am sure that Senator Colston's have some merit.