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Thursday, 2 June 1960


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

That Senate's amendment No. 5 be agreed to.

The object of this amendment is to deal with the existing situation in which a number of applicants have been before the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in recent months seeking licences for country television. The object of this amendment is to ensure that an application which has been made for a licence for a country centre and is under consideration by the Broadcasting Control Board will not be rejected by the board merely on the ground that the applicant organization does not, at the moment, conform with the provisions now being placed in the act. The amendment states that if an applicant would be in breach of these new provisions if his application were granted, and if it appears to the board that that applicant is a desirable one, worthy of recommendation, and could and would within a reasonable space of time remove the conditions which do not conform with the new legislation, the board is free to make a recommendation in favour of that applicant.

The amendment further provides that if the board's recommendation is accepted by the Government, the Minister may grant a licence to that applicant on condition that anything which is in breach of the act must be removed either within six months of the grant of a licence or before the commencement of the station, whichever is the earlier. We say that this is a fair and proper provision to put into the act. Hearings are proceeding at present and an applicant should not be debarred because of the existence of an element which was not in breach of the act when his application was lodged. I commend the amendment to the committee as indicating the fairness with which the Government approaches this matter.







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