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Tuesday, 23 September 1958

Mr DAVIDSON - I rather think that this matter has already been covered in a debate that took place in this chamber the week before last, at which, unfortunately, I was not present. However, I will answer the questions asked by the honorable member for Kingston. It is a fact that the Australian Broadcasting Control Board was instructed to hear applications for television licences in Brisbane and Adelaide. It is a fact that the board took voluminous evidence, the transcript of which amounts to some 1,300 pages. The report that was finally presented by the board was extremely good. I am glad to have presented to me this opportunity to say that it was a good, constructive report. At the same time, I point out to the honorable member for Kingston and any one else who is interested that this Government does not hand over to any board the final determination as to what is best in matters such as this. This Government has the final responsibility, and accepts it. Therefore, its action in deciding, after it had received the board's report and all the evidence submitted to the board, that it would not follow out in complete detail the board's recommendations does not amount to a rejection of those recommendations. It simply means that the Government, having considered all the recommendations, sees fit to adopt a course other than that recommended. The Government continues to have every confidence in the board, and the board is now proceeding to carry out its further instructions from the Government to make a further report in the light of the Government's direction.

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