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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1481

Mr MULDER (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I preface my question to the Minister for Immigration by asking whether there has been a reduction in bilingual broadcasting in Australia especially designed to service migrants. Has the Minister received protests about this reduction and, if so, what can be done about this undesirable curtailing of a service to recently arrived residents?

Mr GRASSBY - It is true that in one case in Sydney there has been a reduction in bilingual broadcasting. It is true also that I have received some protests, but it should be pointed out that this is essentially a matter for the stations concerned. However, because naturally I am concerned about any reduction in services to newly arrived migrants, I have asked the Commonwealth Immigration Publicity Council to look at the whole question. There are 23 Australian broadcasting stations which broadcast bilingual programs ranging from 5 or 10 minutes to very much longer - perhaps 3i hours - during the course of each week. Many years ago, I think in 1952, the Australian Broadcasting Control Board im posed on foreign language broadcasting a restriction to 2i per cent of total weekly broadcasting time. It is a very restrictive provision and I am setting out to urge that that restriction be repealed in the interests of education and the enlightenment of the Australian community generally.

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