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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 404

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 19 March 1980:

(   1 ) Who took the decision to end the Radio Australia Listeners' Club on 1 January 1980.

(2)   Why was the decision taken.

(3)   Did the Listeners' Club encourage Radio Australia's worldwide audience to send in regular reception reports and in return were detailed verification (QSL) cards sent which depicted attractive scenes of Australia.

(4)   Has this popular service provided good public relations for Australia in many overseas countries.

(5)   Were program schedules, automatically sent to all listed members of the Listeners' Club, instrumental in ensuring a consistent listening audience.

(6)   Will the steps taken reduce the effectiveness of Radio Australia in giving Australia a voice to the world; if so, why has this action been taken.

Mr Staley - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Radio Australia management.

(2)   Within the current level of available resources it is no longer possible for the ABC to operate the Listeners' Club. Priority has been given to providing programs for the overseas service.

(3)   Yes. As far as possible, Radio Australia answered all letters from listeners and verified reception reports in detail.

(4)   Yes.

(5)   Yes. The Listeners' Club formed the basis of a mailing list for the distribution of Radio Australia's Program Guides and Transmission Schedules. It is believed that the distribution of these schedules was one of the factors instrumental in ensuring a consistent and loyal listening audience.

(6)   No.

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