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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1687

Mr LUCHETTI (Macquarie) - I commend the Postmaster-General (Mr Lionel Bowen) for accepting the amendment transmitted to this House by the Senate. The PostmasterGeneral has shown wisdom and understanding in this matter. He has interpreted the feeling not only of this place and the Senate but also of people in country areas who have a very special problem. It is not merely a matter of assisting the newspaper proprietors. The country newspapers form part of the literature of the countryside. The country Press gives the story of the dealings of the people in their respective communities. It provides marketing information, news and intelli gence on the development of areas. The problems, the difficulties, the doubts and the dangers are all matters which are mirrored in the country newspapers. It is important that the country newspapers be allowed to continue to have a very special place in the intelligence of our nation.

I think all honourable members would be prepared to admit that the mass media - the great organs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide - are dominating the dissemination of news at the present time. The Postmaster-General, by adopting his considerate and enlightened attitude, has certainly done something that I know all members of this House will appreciate. I believe that every one of us has made representations to him asking him to give consideration to what he is accepting at the present time. I thank the Minister. I am delighted to think that the Parliament's voice has been heard and that the insistence of honourable members on this matter has been respected.

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