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Tuesday, 12 May 1987
Page: 3041

Mr SHARP(10.47) —by leave-I move:

(10) Clause 19, pages 7 to 9, omit proposed sections 91aaa, 91aab and 91aac.

(11) Clause 19, page 10, lines 20-40, omit proposed section 91aae.

(13) Clause 22, page 11, line 16, omit ``75%'', substitute ``43%''.

(14) Clause 24, page 12, line 34, omit ``75%'', substitute ``43%''.

(19) Clause 29, page 21, lines 7-15, omit paragraph (b).

(23) Page 22, lines 5-15, omit Part IV (comprising clauses 35 and 36).

The significance of the Broadcasting (Ownership and Control) Bill cannot be overstated. It represents the most significant change that has been made to media ownership requirements in the history of this country. It is important to realise that if we do not oppose the 75 per cent reach rule and install in its place a 43 per cent reach rule, which is the position of the National Party of Australia, we will hand tremendous potential for both power and profit to a small group of people. In the process of doing that we will also put into serious question the proper democratic processes that this nation has held so dearly since its inception. So for those reasons the National Party is proposing that a 43 per cent audience reach rule be put in place of the 75 per cent audience reach rule. We do that because we believe that is a sensible position; it is one that in the early days of this debate the Minister personally supported; it is one which we believe the majority of Australians support; it is one in which we believe democracy can be maintained; it is one in which we believe that power cannot be handed to a small group of people, perhaps for their own benefit.