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Tuesday, 16 October 1973
Page: 2213

Mr SHERRY ('Franklin) - The honourable member for Wimmera (Mr King) dealt at great length with that part of the Bill which refers to the gross earnings of the various commercial radio stations. I can assume only that the honourable member, who is a member of the Australian Country Party, would be advancing the cause of country radio stations. I would be delighted if he would indicate to me the number of country radio stations within the framework of the 118 commercial stations in this country which have a revenue in excess of $500,000, because this is the nub of his argument. He went on to talk about a 1} per cent increase for stations with gross earnings of from $500,000 to $lm. What country station in Australia has a revenue of Sim? Name them. He cannot because there are not any. The honourable member and other members of the Country Party referred to land line charges. This is an impost brought about by the Postmaster-General (Mr Lionel Bowen) and I would suggest to the honourable member and his colleagues that they reflect that it was the previous Postmaster-General and the coalition government which made the decision to increase postal charges last year. Do not blame us for a decision made by the former Government. We are merely being economically responsible where the former Government and its members were political cowards.

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Be truthful and stick to what is in this Budget.

Mr SHERRY - It is not a matter of my being truthful. The honourable member knows perfectly well that it was only the influence of the Country Party that last year decimated the entire Bill relating to cigarette advertising. Country Party members talk about humbug. All they are interested in is protecting their own interests. They still cannot answer this question: How will country stations be affected by this legislation? The honourable member for Cowper, who is seeking to interrupt me again, is a classic interjector but he is a man of very little knowledge on this subject.

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