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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr RIORDAN (Kennedy) .-I rise to oppose the amendment. In the fixation of the remuneration to be paid to members of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Joint Committee on Broadcasting took into consideration the volume of work that will devolve upon the chairman. The committee realized that the chairman will be the person to whom this Parliament will look regarding the functioning of the commission, and he will be called upon to carry out the policy upon which the commissioners decide. Australia is a continent of vast distances, and the chairman will be obliged to travel extensively in order to ensure that the policy of the commission is being given effect. In addition, he will be compelled to devote practically the whole of his time to his duties. The honorable member for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) referred to the disparity between the remuneration of an ordinary commissioner and that of the chairman; but I direct his attention to the fact that whereas an ordinary governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation receives £1,000 per annum, the chairman is paid £3,000 a year. In recommending a salary of £1,250 for the chairman the joint committee took into consideration salaries paid to the occupants of similar positions in other parts of the world and the responsibilities and work that the chairman is required to undertake. It discovered that the present chairman of the commission has a thorough grasp of the workings of the commission. Notwithstanding that since this legislation has been mooted his appointment was likely to be ended at any time - sometimes the commission's term was extended for as short a period as one month - he devoted a considerable part of his time to his duties as chairman. The knowledge I gained as a member of the joint committee convinces me that a salary of £1,250 is commensurate with the work and responsibilities attaching to the chairmanship of the commission.

Mr Morgan - Did the committee make any recommendation on this matter?

Mr RIORDAN - Yes, on page 11 of the report it recommended that the salary of the chairman be £1,250 per annum.

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