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Wednesday, 14 November 1973
Page: 1757

Senator KEEFFE (QUEENSLAND) -Can the Minister for the Media inform the Senate what has been done to provide additional news services to Queensland as a result of additional operational funds being made available by the Government to the Australian Broadcasting Commission this financial year? Is the Minister aware that regional news services are important to the people of Queensland, and will he discuss this matter with the Commission?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have already been able to advise my colleague, Mr Hansen, the honourable member for Wide Bay, as I think I said in answer to a question in the Senate recently, that a new regional television news service has been established for Maryborough and Wide Bay. That service in fact commenced on 5 November. The daily bulletins for this service are prepared in Brisbane because as yet the Australian Broadcasting Commission does not have studio facilities available at Maryborough. The Commission is now looking at extending the special television news bulletin service for Cairns and surrounding district and is engaging staff for that purpose. I understand it is expected by the Commission that it will be able to introduce this service within the course of the next 2 months. This, of course, is in conformity with the Government's policy of diversification of news coverage, and as a result of the Government providing an additional $ 10m to the Australian Broadcasting Commission this financial year these things are now able to be done by the Commission.

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