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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 961

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Has the Minister for the Media seen reports that Mr Harry Miller, the well known entrepreneur, has expressed high praise for the publications issued by the Australian Information Service and has stated that they have formed the basis for his initial research for the organisation of a national festival in Canberra? Will the Minister agree that this statement by Mr Miller is a recognition of the very high skills and enterprise of officers of his Department? What steps is the Department of the Media taking to provide this sort of material to the Australian public as well as people abroad who are interested in obtaining information about Australia?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I have read the article in the 'Canberra Times' which I think said that Mr Miller had bounced out superlatives lauding the Australian Information Service which, of course, is a section of my Department the literature of which had formed the basis of the research being undertaken by Mr Miller for a national festival in Canberra next year. The honourable senator has asked what we have done to get this sort of information, which is information of a very high quality, to the Australian people. We have established a number of government bookshops and inquiry centres in the capital cities throughout Australia. I hope that in the near future there will be such a government bookshop and information centre in each of the capital cities.

Senator McAuliffe - Brisbane?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - In the near future I expect to be going to Hobart to open one there and suitable premises are being sought in Brisbane. After that the Government will be establishing centres in some of the provincial centres and cities. Indeed, in the last financial year as a result of the initiatives taken by the Government we have sold nearly $lm worth of Australian Government publications. Additionally, of course, we have established a mobile bookshop and information centre in New South Wales. Depending on the revenue made available to my Department I am hoping that next financial year we will be able to extend this activity to all of the mainland States. I am delighted to know that Mr Miller, having the international entrepreneurial reputation that he has, speaks with such high praise of the skills and initiatives of officers of my Department. I can assure the honourable senator that the publications that my Department has produced are also received with acclaim by people abroad.

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