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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1916

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - The Tariff Board in its report and recommendations to the Government considered this amongst a number of other matters. It suggested that the Australian Film Authority, as it termed it, should have the functions and responsibilities set out and that in particular it should be required to supervise and monitor the commercial activities of distributors and exhibitors including the collection of any necessary statistics and the conduct of any market research regarded as necessary. It was bearing in mind that recommendation that sub-clauses 2 and 3 of clause 11 were written into the legislation deliberately to enable the proposed commission to carry out recommendation (1) of the Tariff Board as shown at page 54 of the Tariff Board's report. The manner in which the clause has been written virtually is a repetition, for want of a better term, of the legislation as it relates to the collection of statistics by the Bureau of Census and Statistics.

I can well understand- I personally have some sympathy for- the type of proposition that has been put by the Opposition that it is a very far reaching power which is being given to the Commission. I have always been one who has believed that there should be ministerial responsibility to a parliament. That is why I have been so insistent on the other clauses to which 1 have adhered. 1 note that Senator Missen and, I think, Senator Guilfoyle also appreciated that there has to be an ability on the part of the Commission to search out the type of statistics and other information on which they. can effectively plan the future development of the industry.

I notice, of course, that Senator Hall's amendment desires to water down the proposed clause that we have inserted in the Bill to the question of covering exhibition and distribution. If we can obtain some unanimity of opinion by a discussion on the subject then I, too, am prepared to accede to Senator Hall's suggestion that there be a deferral of sub-clause 2 and 3 of clause 11. I take it that Senator Hall and the Opposition do not object to the inclusion of sub-clause 1 of clause 11. I am prepared, on behalf of the Government, to agree to a deferral until a later hour of the day or until the next day of the sitting for further consideration of sub-clauses 2 and 3 of clause 1 1.

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