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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) (Minister for Supply and Development) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of the bill Ls to give effect to a recommendation of the Joint Committee on Broadcasting concerning the annual fee for licences for commercial broadcasting stations. At present, the fee for each such licence is £25 per annum. The committee expressed the opinion that this flat rate should be maintained, but it recommended, and the bill accordingly provides, that in any case where the licensee of a station declares a profit, he should be required to pay an additional amount representing one-half of 1 per per cent, of his gross revenue. The committee estimated that these additional fees will aggregate £5,000 per annum.

The fee payable over and above £25, in respect of the licence for a station which has made a profit, will be calculated on the gross earnings of the station during a previous period of twelve months. As it is possible that the fee, on that account, may be regarded as taxation, it has been deemed advisable to introduce this measure independently of the Australian Broadcasting Bill in order to avoid any possibility of the validity of that measure being challenged because of the inclusion of any provisions which might be regarded as involving taxation.

Under the Australian Broadcasting Bill, the licensee of each commercial station will be required to supply such information as may be necessary for the calculation of the additional fees, if any, which may be payable.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

The bill.

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