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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1401

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General. In view of the great demand by residents of New South Wales,

Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory for replays of the rugby league World Cup matches to be played in France from 28th October 1972 to 12th November 1972, will the Minister investigate whether the Australian Broadcasting Commission intends to procure the video-tapes of these matches for Australian audiences? If it is not the intention of the Australian Broadcasting Commission to do so, will the Minister tell the Senate why not?

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - I think the honourable senator is aware, particularly from discussions which took place and in which he participated at a recent hearing of the relevant Senate Estimates Committee, that it is the Australian Broadcasting Commission which determines what shall be the range and the scope of the sporting coverage which that Commission provides. Parliament has given to the Commission the sole authority to determine what are the adequate and comprehensive programmes which either broadcasting or television stations run by the Commission shall provide. The honourable senator invites me to seek from the Postmaster-General, and then from the Commission, an explanation of why certain conduct is taking place, and I am sure that the Postmaster-General will obtain that information for the honourable senator. However, by way of general response to the question, I am quits sure that there are many sporting activities which are of interest to vast numbers of Australians and that those Australians would like to have their particular sport, whether it be table tennis or lacrosse, televised and to have international events in that sport televised. But whether or not rugby league or Australian rules, when it is played overseas, is to be televised is essentially a matter for the Commission. Having said that and appreciating that it is the Commission's prerogative, that it has a difficult jab to determine, and that it is proper that it be left in the hands of an independent body, I will ask the PostmasterGeneral to seek whatever information he can obtain from the Commission.

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