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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1701

Senator MELZER (VICTORIA) - I wish to address a question to the Minister for the Media. In line with the Government's desire to make as much information as possible available to the public, can the Minister advise the Senate whether there are plans to extend the Australian Information Service to areas other than the capital cities, such as large provincial cities. In the case of the capital cities, are there plans to enlarge and extend those bookshops which, in the case of Melbourne at least, are small and not well situated?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) -The honourable senator will recall that I have answered questions on this subject from time to time and have mentioned the successful operation of the Australian Government bookshops and inquiry centres. About 3 weeks ago I answered a question on the subject in relation to Melbourne. I mentioned that in the last 3 months of this year there was, from recollection, a 300 per cent increase in sales in the Melbourne bookshop compared with the corresponding period last year. We have now established Australian Government bookshops in all capital cities of Australia with the exception of Brisbane. I understand that the Brisbane bookshop will be opened in November and the Darwin bookshop in December. After that we certainly intend extending the facilities to a number of provincial centres. In addition to the mobile bookshop and inquiry centre that we have at present moving around New South Wales my Department is in the course of negotiating for the extension of mobile bookshops into all the other States. It has been a very successful innovation by the Government. I think I have already told the Senate that in the last financial year over $lm of revenue came to the Treasury from the sale of Government publications.

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