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Wednesday, 30 October 1974
Page: 2115

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for the Media. In reply to previous questions asked by me the Minister has referred to the international acclaim which has heralded the screening of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's television drama series 'Seven Little Australians ' in many countries throughout the world. Can the Minister inform the Senate whether the introduction of colour television next year is likely to increase the sale of Australian programs of this kind overseas, or was Seven Little Australians' the kind of program that can be made only by a special arrangement and at infrequent intervals? If special arrangements need to be made would the Minister consider seeking a special advance to allow a project of this kind to be undertaken again?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I can well understand the honourable senator's concern to see that the publicity and the prestige that have come to Australia from the screening abroad of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's program 'Seven Little Australians' should not be accepted merely as something that happens once in a while. I can also understand his concern that the Government should continue to encourage the production of programs of this kind. The honourable senator has asked me what prospects there are of having programs like Seven Little Australians' produced by the ABC and sold abroad. I personally believe and I am confident that the advent of colour television in Australia- productions of this nature will in future be made in colour- will increase substantially the ability of the ABC to sell the product on the world market.

Let me tell the honourable senator that in the last 12 months a number of dramas have been produced by the ABC which are considered to be of world standard. Two of them that readily come to mind are the production 'Marion' which was scripted by an Australian, Mr Cliff Green, and also 'Three Men of the City' which was scripted by Mr Ted Roberts. Both of these Australian writers have won awards for the excellence of their programs. I understand that in recent times they have expressed their appreciation to the ABC for having had the opportunity to work on the production of these programs. With programs and script writers of this high quality I am quite confident that the ABC will be able to put a number of products on the international market in the near future.

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