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Wednesday, 13 October 1971
Page: 2238

Mr SHERRY (FRANKLIN, TASMANIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts. I ask: Is it a fact that the recommendation of the film committee of the Australian Council for the Arts indicated that the capital cost of the establishment of a national television and film training school would be $400,000? If so, how was this figure arrived at? Is it also a fact that the annual running costs .were estimated by the same body as being $200,000? On whose advice was it producing this set of figures? Finally, has the Government received any communication from the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations indicating its total opposition to the establishment of such a school?

Mr HOWSON (CASEY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Environment, Aborigines and the Arts) - As I think I indicated some weeks ago in answer to a question by the Leader of the Opposition, the original report of the film committee of the Australian Council for the Arts indicated figures somewhat similar to those quoted by the honourable member. That was the report on which the original decision to set up an Interim Council for a film and television training school was based. The Interim Council then prepared a report, the details of which have also been given to the House by me. In doing so I indicated the difference between the original estimate and the actual estimate after the Interim Council had considered the matter in greater detail. It was on those figures that the Government considered the whole proposal and decided that, for the time being, the proposal be deferred because of the financial stringency at present Last week the Prime Minister asked me to get together as quickly as possible all the facts about the proposal so that they can be re-examined by the Government at a time when the financial stringency is not as great as it is at the present time. In regard to the last part of the honourable member's question, I have not yet received a report, but if one does come to me I shall be interested to learn about it. 1 shall also consider it along the lines of all the other matters I am getting together at the present time.

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