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Tuesday, 26 November 1985
Page: 2251


Senator PUPLICK(4.16) —When the estimates of the Department of Communications were last before the chamber, I raised with the Minister for Finance (Senator Walsh) the question of the response of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to the report of the Commonwealth Ombudsman on the Cotton case. I do not need to recite the details of that case or, indeed, the criticisms which the Ombudsman made of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, because I did that at some length on the last occasion. I say simply that I have now had a chance to look in some detail at the response given by the ABC when it was before Estimates Committee C and my colleague Senator Peter Rae raised the question of the Cotton report. Mr Jackson, replying on behalf of the ABC, indicated that as far as it was concerned the nub of the dispute was a jurisdictional one between the Ombudsman and the ABC. The Minister's advisers having had a week or 10 days since this matter was last raised, I would be interested to hear the response to the comments I raised.