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Wednesday, 25 June 2003
Page: 12472

Senator ALSTON (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) (12:43 PM) —It also works the other way around. I think we do need to make a comparison and understand why there might be a differential regime. I seem to recall that the ABC was criticised by the ABA in respect of that McCartney-Snape program about three or four years ago now and that the ABC always resolutely refused to accept responsibility. I think I read recently that they have. I do not know if it resulted in a defamation payout or not, but certainly there was a lot of push back from the ABC in respect of the ABA recommendations. I take Senator Murphy's point in principle—I think it is important, in a public policy debate, to understand why different rules might apply to the commercial and the national broadcasters, and I am more than happy to undertake that exercise.