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Tuesday, 30 March 1971

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -

My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General. Is the Minister aware that the last annual report of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board shows at page 138 that a company known as Elwood Pty Ltd holds 154,000 shares in Riverina Television Ltd? Is the Minister aware that the paid up capital of Elwood Pty Ltd is a mere $4, represented by 2 shares which are owned by two residents of Wollongong in New South Wales? ls the Minister aware that the shares held by Elwood Pty Ltd in Riverina Television Ltd are worth about $170,000? Does the Minister know that Elwood Pty Ltd, prior to the acquisition of the holdings in Riverina Television Ltd, was a subsidiary of John Fairfax Ltd? Will the Minister order an investigation to determine who provided to Elwood Pty Ltd the funds necessary, and on what terms, for the purchase of the Riverina Television Ltd shares and, in particular, whether any person or company has any option to purchase the 2 shares in Elwood Pty Ltd? Will the Minister also order a complete and thorough investigation into the number of television stations that newspaper companies control, either directly or indirectly, within the meaning of the Broadcasting and Television Act, both as a result of their own shareholdings and shareholdings that they have been able to acquire by subterfuge?

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