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Wednesday, 19 September 1973
Page: 1305

Mr Bennett (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Media, upon notice:

(1)   Is it a fact that only one morning newspaper and one evening newspaper are available in Western Australia.

(2)   Is a high freight charge placed on national newspapers in Western Australia so that they are not competitive with local newspapers.

(3)   Will the Minister confer with the Minister for Transport to see what may be done to ensure the removal of this freight barrier charge so that national newspapers are readily available in Western Australia.

(4)   Will the Minister take all possible steps to see that a choice of newspapers is available to Western Australian residents on weekdays similar to that which exists on a Sunday.

Mr Morrison - The Minister for the Media has supplied the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   No. In some Western Australian Provincial areas there are local evening newspapers on some weekdays additional to the Perth evening newspaper. In Kalgoorlie there is also a local morning newspaper. In Perth specifically, both 'The Australian' and 'Financial Review' are readily available on weekdays. These are national newspapers.

(2)   My department has been advised that no higher freight charges are placed on national newspapers transhipped by air from Eastern States to Perth than are placed on other goods carried by air. The Financial Review' is printed in the Eastern States and copies for Western Australia are transhipped by air to Perth. The price of the "Financial Review' in Perth is 7c per copy, the same as for the Perth West Australian' morning newspaper. The Monday and Saturday editions of 'The Australian' for distribution in Perth are printed in Adelaide and the copies for Western Australia sent by air from Adelaide to Perth. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays however, the Western Australian copies of 'The Australian' are printed in Perth. The price charged for all editions of 'The Australian' in both Perth and Adelaide is 10c per copy. As one national newspaper is readily available at the same price as the local Perth morning newspaper and as the other is available at the same price in both Adelaide and Perth, it does not appear that freight charges have affected availability of these newspapers in Western Australia. It is interesting to note that in no State is the price of 'The Australian' competitive with local daily newspapers even when sold in the city in which it is printed.

(3)   No. In this case, it would be preferable for any interested national newspaper to submit relevant information direct to the Minister for Transport.

(4)   My Department informs me that there is already a choice of both local and national newspapers in Western Australia on weekdays. I understand an independent daily newspaper is about to commence publication in Perth in the near future.

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