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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 997

Mr BARNES (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) - 1 ask the PostmasterGeneral: In line with his recent comments on bias by some elements of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, will he suggest to the Commission that, in view of the exceedingly generous coverage given to clashes between police and demonstrators on such past occasions as the visit of President johnson, the tour of the South African footballers and, more recently, the removal of the so-called Aboriginal embassy from Canberra, it should also cover such incidents as the attack by communist led militants against a union official supporting a return to work by striking plumbers?

Sir ALAN HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - My understanding is that the honourable member is perhaps referring to incidents related to Mr Ducker of the trade union movement. I believe that Mr Ducker was interviewed on television by the Australian Broadcasting Commission and that one of the current affairs programmes covered a confrontation in which Mr Ducker was involved outside the particular building. I think that what the honourable member is really referring to is that there are a number of organisations, including students in particular, which have limited financial resources and which depend upon the media to give them publicity They therefore indicate to the media some protest rally that they intend to hold, and the media are there when something is going to happen. I believe that this did not apply in the situation in which Mr Ducker was involved but it certainly applies in most instances. I remember a demonstration in Brisbane some time ago which Four Corners' happened to include in its programme. How 'Four Corners' could have been accidentally in Brisbane at that time I have never been able to work out.

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