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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2212

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) - Did the Minister for the Media yesterday address the annual conference of the Professional Musicians Union of Australia now being held at Newcastle? Is the Minister aware that this union and other unions involved in the media industries are concerned to ensure protection of their members' wages and working condition entitlements in the event of the

Government's deciding to establish public broadcasting stations? In other words, are the unions concerned that their conditions might be affected by well-minded amateurs using public broadcasting more in the form of a hobby than as a career? Will the Minister ensure that in considering public broadcasting the views and opinions of the trade union movement will be kept in mind?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - It is true that yesterday I went to Newcastle to address the annual federal conference of the Professional Musicians Union of Australia. At that conference a number of questions relating to employment opportunities for people working in the media industry generally were raised with me. One of the questions that was raised with me by the union related to the Government's giving consideration to the introduction of public broadcasting. It was certainly not a new question raised with me for the first time only yesterday. A number of other unions have raised the issue with me- the Professional Radio Employees Institute, the Electrical Trades Union, Actors and Announcers Equity, the Theatrical and Amusement Employees Association and, on an unofficial basis, the Australian Journalists Association. I can understand and indeed have some sympathy for the attitude being expressed by those unions. They are rightly concerned to ensure the industrial protection of their members. Certainly this is something that has to be faced up to by those who are pressing for the immediate or early implementation of a system of public broadcasting in Australia.

For my part I have given an assurance to the unions that the matter is certainly not being overlooked by me or by my Department. Yesterday when the matter was raised with me I told the Professional Musicians Union that very shortly I expect to be establishing an advisory committee to tender advice to me, to my Department and to the Government on this matter and in this sphere. I undertake that when I do that, a representative of the trade union movement involved in the media industries will be made a member of the advisory committee so that he can express those views to the committee.

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