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Wednesday, 16 December 1992
Page: 5136

Senator COLLINS (Minister for Transport and Communications) (11.34 a.m.) —I want to respond briefly to one thing that Senator Parer said. I think there is an important distinction between this reinstatement of the status quo—and that is what it is—and the previous proposal. There is no question in terms of the previous proposal that there was a very strong motive on the part of the Government—and, frankly, I think a proper one—to try to remove the enormous burden of cost by way of a general electronic blackout. Television advertising, of course, doubles the cost of campaigns; as we all know, it is the single biggest component of any election campaign. The aim was to remove that enormous financial burden. There is no element of that in this amendment. This amendment purely and simply has nothing to do with saving even a few days advertising time. It has got everything to do with giving the electorate a break.

  Question put:

  That the amendments (Senator Collins's) be agreed to.