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Tuesday, 29 October 1996
Page: 4694

Senator BOB COLLINS(7.12 p.m.) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

I actually came in to speak on the adjournment tonight, but I did wish to speak to the Australian Film Finance Corporation Ltd annual report 1995-96 on the last occasion that government papers were tabled. I actually came in here armed with the report itself and ready to speak to it. We ran out of time on that occasion and did not get to it. But not having the material in front of me has never stopped me before today and it will not now. I do want to draw honourable senators' attention to the record of achievement that is contained in the report. This year, as it happens, the film corporation and I have something in common: we both turn 50.

Senator Herron —That you should be so lucky.

Senator BOB COLLINS —Indeed. We both turn 50 this year. The 50 years that is recorded in the report that is before the parliament is 50 years of remarkable achievement. One only has to go to the back of the report to see the awards and honours that have been collected by Australian films, documentaries and television productions that have been made with the assistance of the corporation, to see what an extraordinary record of achievement the Australian film industry has. I am pleased to say that it is an industry which is very much alive and well at the moment and it is producing superlative films. In terms of the films that are listed in the corporation's report, if you have not seen Shine may I commend it to you. It is one of the best films that I have seen recently.

Senator Short —A terrific film.

Senator BOB COLLINS —You agree? Yes, I was moved to tears when I saw that movie. I might add that the other passengers on Ansett found that quite strange at the time, but I managed to restrain myself. It is a superb film. It is simply typical of the quality of the films that are now being produced in Australia.

I am one of those people who believe that the cinema—movies—is one of the highest forms of civilised achievement in that it can draw together, as it does, all of the best creativity of humankind in terms of writing, music, the visual arts and, of course, acting—the whole lot of it all brought together in, on occasions, one superb product. There are a lot of duds as well, but I am pleased to say that the Australian film industry has never been better. One of the nice things, of course, about movies is that as well as bringing all that creativity together, the best way to enjoy them is as a shared experience.

It is a record that Australia can well be proud of. I am sure I speak on behalf of all senators in here in congratulating the corporation on its 50th anniversary of great creative achievement on behalf of this country.