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Monday, 23 February 1987
Page: 562

Mr RONALD EDWARDS(10.20) —I wish to refer to two events this even- ing. The first concerns some current management practices in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. One issue that has been drawn to my attention as being a matter of considerable concern in the ABC in Western Australia is that with the division of the ABC management structure into those employed in television and those employed in radio work, some people who in the past have been employed in the ABC in general and who have shared duties between both radio and television may in future be denied that opportunity.

I choose, for example, to relate the experience of many people who are employed in the rural department of the ABC. In Western Australia-and I understand that the practice is similar in other States-those personnel who are employed in the rural radio section of the ABC have often been used in television work in areas such as Countrywide and presenting weather reports. One of the moves by the ABC to divide those functions of radio and television proposes that some of those personnel may not in future be able to share their duties between both sections of the ABC. I mention a gentleman called John Barnett in Western Australia who customarily works both on ABC radio and presents the weather in the evening. This in my view would constitute unnecessary demarcation of duties and at the same time would prevent an effective career development for somebody in that position. The ABC should be looking carefully at that proposed management practice. If it were to be the case, the ABC would be denying proper career development to some people but it would also mean that the audiences who have become accustomed to seeing people who can share duties between radio and television would be denied access to them.

I choose other examples involving people who currently read news on ABC television but who also have the opportunity to present radio music programs in the area of specialisation on ABC radio. It is mooted that such people will be denied the opportunity to share duties between both departments. Sure, the challenge for the ABC is to use its resources more effectively and efficiently and not to erect demarcations where they do not already exist. My concern is that the practice which has been spoken about in the ABC of demarcating people into radio and/or television means that people may not be able to move freely between those departments. In particular, in Western Australia there may not be that opportunity for people such as John Barnett, who works in radio and television, to share his work. That would be a matter of real concern for the ABC audience and certainly for taxpayers who support the ABC because it would not be able to use resources most effectively. Another gentleman who comes to mind in this context is David Ellery, who presents music on radio to a high standard and also undertakes news reading on ABC television. I put this before the Parliament as I feel it is a matter of concern.

The second matter is a very recent occurrence and for people who are interested in environmental matters it is one of considerable concern. Last weekend the King of the Point surfing competition was held at Trigg Island beach in Perth and it was marked by a surf of all of about half a metre. Because of the continued development of groynes and I suspect the recent development of the Hillarys boat harbour or marina in Perth, the surf beaches in Perth notably Trigg Island and Scarborough have become silted up. They have become so silted that it is now difficult to find any substantial surf at those beaches. This is the consequence of what I regard as short-sighted coastal management practices by local and to some extent State authorities in Western Australia which have meant that we now face a serious problem with what had been Perth's major surf beach attraction ceasing to be effective.

The organisers of the King of the Point competition must feel let down because the surf was very poor. People I have spoken to recently have suggested that surf on metropolitan beaches where I surf has not been of any quality for the last few years. There is a problem because of the short-sighted attitude of some authorities who have allowed siltation to occur by building an excessive number of groynes and, I suspect, Hillarys boat harbour, although events may prove that to be otherwise. Clearly there is a problem that must be addressed involving proper coastal management and so far that problem has not been addressed.