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Thursday, 12 May 1960

Mr DAVIDSON (Dawson) (PostmasterGeneral) . - by leave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill is related to that just introduced to amend the Broadcasting and Television Act which, under clause 29, places on the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and on commercial broadcasting and television station licensees, an obligation to retain, when so directed, a record of matter of historic interest and to deliver it, under fair compensation, to a designated person or authority. It is clearly desirable that a similar provision be made for the preservation of a record of notable occurrences in proceedings of the Parliament itself. However, it is equally clear that these arrangements should be in the Parliament's own hands, and that any changes to be brought about should be effected by amendment of the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act.

Having regard to timing difficulties, the Australian Broadcasting Commission will be given the initiative of choosing which parliamentary occasion to record, although, naturally, the commission will make an appropriate recording when so directed. The directions in this regard and the oversight of the procedure involved is placed by this bill in the hands of the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings. The committee will make the decisions as to those items which will be put in permanent safe-keeping and also will make the appropriate safe-keeping arrangements.

In introducing this measure, I am sure it is unnecessary for me to stress the desirability of having a permanent record of notable occasions such as that when Her Majesty the Queen opened a session of this Parliament. I feel that all members will agree with me that adoption of the proposal in the bill will secure the addition of much material of historic interest to our national archives. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Calwell) adjourned.

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