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Wednesday, 25 June 2003
Page: 12566

Senator MURPHY (5:09 PM) —With regard to Senator Cherry's amendments and the five voices test, I note that his amendment (2) refers to a group other than a group composed of two or more commercial radio broadcasting licences. I take it from that that there is some acknowledgment on his part that radio constitutes a voice in the market. I am not quite sure that he is not defeating his argument by stating that the five voices should comprise three television stations and two newspapers. I think radio plays a very important part in being a voice in servicing the community. You only have to look at the revenues of some of the radio networks in Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, and even more so in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane to see that that is the case. Radio has an important role to play. I suspect, and I think Senator Cherry acknowledges this in his amendments, that in terms of the five or four voices test proposed by Senator Lees in her amendments, where there are two or more commercial radio broadcasting licences these people will be in healthy and competitive form and they will continue to provide a service to the community in that respect. They will remain a very strong voice.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Knowles)—The question is that the amendments moved by Senator Cherry to Senator Lees's amendments be agreed to.

Question negatived.

Original question agreed to.