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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1919

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I am assured that this provision is of a somewhat similar nature to provisions contained in other statutes. I understand that a similar provision is contained in the Broadcasting and Television Act. I well remember that when this Government made an appointment of a full time member under the Broadcasting and Television Act the person appointed by the Government had to divest himself of interests that he had in the broadcasting and television industry. I would expect that the same sort of situation would apply here. I am told also that similar provisions exist in the Commonwealth Banks Act 1959, the Reserve Bank Act 1959 and, without having perused it I understand that a similar, if not the exact, provision is contained in the Australian Film Development Corporation Act.

Senator Greenwood - It is somewhat similar. When we debated it you adopted an attitude, not the same, but somewhat similar to that which we have adopted. If you look at Hansard you will find it.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) -The Opposition is seeking the deletion of this clause, as I understand it. What I am saying is that when the Opposition, then the Government, enacted the Australian Film Development Corporation Act it enacted a somewhat similar provision to this. Therefore I suggest to Senator Greenwood that it is not I who is confused about the matter. He is differing now with the type of legislation that the Government of which he was a member enacted as long ago as 1970. If a person has a small company and is the main or major shareholder in that company, I would suggest that he virtually owns the company.

Senator Greenwood - He would not be eligible to be appointed if he has that sort of interest.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) -Surely he can divest himself of that interest. Surely he would be expected to divest if he were to be appointed a full time member.

Senator Greenwood - Rut if he is a small producer trying to earn the benefits of past efforts it is a very hard task for him to divest in order to become a member of the Commission. There is an area of concern, I think.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I fail to see the point. I do not think anyone is being impeded by this provision from appointment as a full time member. It is a provision which has been included in a number of other legislative enactments and, bearing in mind that this is a full time appointment, the Government must press for the inclusion of the clause.

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