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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3134

Senator PUPLICK(10.46) —I move, pursuant to standing order 196A:

That the Broadcasting and Television Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1985 be referred to the Standing Committee on Education and the Arts for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in February 1986.

The only point I make about this motion is that we believe that delay may allow us to look at some of the significant civil liberties problems which, we believe, arise under the proposed new section 119. We do not believe that it will have any adverse effect on the children's television side of things or on the advertising side of things. For instance, the children's television decision was made on 21 May 1985. I do not believe that there has been any substantial decline in the quality of children's television programs broadcast since May 1985. Another couple of months will not make any difference to the continuation of that decision. The decision on the Saatchi case was handed down on 23 November 1984. For more than a year we do not believe there has been any evidence that Australian airwaves have been flooded by foreign or substandard commercials. I note with great interest Senator Chipp's concern that we will be flooded with American made Coca-Cola commercials. It is curious that he has picked that as an example because, in fact, the Coca-Cola company was so impressed with the standard of Coca-Cola commercials made in Australia that it took a very brilliant young television executive by the name of Kilner Mason from the advertising agency that he worked for in Australia over to the United States to make all of Coca-Cola's advertisements for world-wide distribution.

Senator Collard —They have won prizes.

Senator PUPLICK —Indeed, the Australian Coca-Cola advertisements have won international awards. Therefore, we do not believe that another couple of months delay on the children's television side of things or on the commercial side of things will in fact harm Australian television. We believe it will give the Standing Committee time to look at the civil liberties implications of section 119 and that that is an important and worthwhile part of the operation of a Senate committee. I indicate that should the Australian Democrats indicate that they will not support our reference to the Committee we do not propose to divide on the question.