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Thursday, 5 April 1973
Page: 1213

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Labour, upon notice:

What are the details of adjustments in (a) wages and salaries and (b) hours of work in all Federal Awards made since 4 December 1972.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a)   The detailed information sought by the honourable member is not available in a readily accessible form. Its extraction from the records would require the expenditure of greater staff resources than could be justified since details of decisions and orders of Federal industrial tribunals including those relating to wages and salaries and to hours of work are published in the Industrial Information Bulletin. The publication of the Bulletin, as the honourable member will be aware, has fallen behind schedule but steps have been taken to rectify this. If the honourable member requested the information in order to assess trends in movements in wages and salaries I refer him to information on weekly wage rates published by the Commonwealth Statistician. At the end of December 1972. the latest period for which information is currently available, the weighted average minimum weekly rates payable to adult males for a full week's work (excluding overtime) as prescribed in Federal awards, determinations and collective agreements was $65.80 which represented an increase of 12c or .18 per cent on the weighted average at the end of the previous month. Comparable information for adult females is not available but the weighted average minimum weekly rate payable to adult females as prescribed in Federal and State awards, determinations and collective agreements was $51.58 at the end of December 1972 which represented an increase of 17c or .33 per cent on the weighted average at the end of the previous month.

(b)   1 am not aware of any adjustments to standard hours of work prescribed in Federal awards since 4th December 1972.

Television Programme: 'A Current Affair' (Question No. 324)

Mr Cooke (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Media, upon notice:

(1)   Will the Minister give an assurance that the Australian Broadcasting Control Board will police the guidelines laid down by it in the Television Programme Standards booklet, particularly those dealing with sound and visual items in programs televised at times when the audience is likely to contain large numbers of children.

(2)   Did the program 'A Current Affair', which is televised on Channel 9 in Brisbane on each week night from 7 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., contain segments on the following topics on the dates mentioned: 17th May 1972- "The Little Red School-book'- obscene words used 4th July 1972 and 19th July 1972- Explicit discussion of homosexuality 3rd August 1972 - A talk on live sex education for kindergartens and objectionable close-ups of breast feeding 17th August 1972 and 18th August 1972- Abortion 18th January 1973 - Explicit sex scenes.

(3)   If so, will the Minister investigate these segments to determine whether the guidelines have been breached.

(4)   What action is proposed to ensure that subsequent programmes of 'A Current Affair' do not offend in the same way.

Mr Morrison (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Science) - The Minister for the Media has supplied the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The Australian Broadcasting Control Board regards the safeguarding of the interests of children in the viewing audience as one of its most important functions. The special provisions in its television program standards relating to programming during family and children's viewing time between 4 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. daily are strictly enforced and all stations are familiar with their responsibilities under the Standards in programming at these times.

(2)   For obvious reasons the special provisions for family and children's viewing time do not prevent the presentation of news and other types of actuality programming of an informative nature during these periods: 'A Current Affair' is basically a live interview program, and as such is in this category. The Board considers that the program deals responsibly with important social issues.

(3)   The Board maintains a close watch on 'A Current Affair' and the Chairman of the Board has informed me that the Board is aware of the particular segments in the program mentioned by the honourable member. In the case of the item televised on 17th March 1972, a full account of the Board's action under Sections 101 and 119 of the Broadcasting and Television Act is to be found in paragraphs 495 to 497 of the Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Board for the year ended 30th June 1972. The item televised on 4th July 1972 was examined by the Board following the receipt of a complaint from a Brisbane viewer. The complainant was informed that the interview as conducted did not breach the Standards. The other items mentioned by the honourable member were also examined and did not contravene the Standards. I am informed that the complaints about them to the Board also came from a single source.

(4)   The record of the program, as outlined in the foregoing, indicates that the present arrangements for the conduct and supervision of the program are satisfactory.

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