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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2225

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, relates to the Australian Broadcasting Commission's television production entitled 'Our Man in Canberra'. Firstly, has the Minister's attention been drawn to reported criticism by the Australian Labor Party that the ABC suspended the series on receiving legal advice that it infringes section 116(1.) of the Broadcasting and Television Act, which prohibits political dramatisation? Secondly, was not the provision prohibiting political dramatisation inserted in the Act by the Chifley Labor Government in 1948?

Senator GREENWOOD - I am aware that at least one prominent member of the Australian Labor Party has vigorously criticised the Government and, quite obviously from my knowledge, criticised it without any appreciation of the facts of the matter. The simple facts are that the Australian Broadcasting Commission has decided, because of the provisions of section 116(2.) of the Broadcasting and Television Act, that this projected series would be in contravention of that sub-section. The Commission has decided to proceed no further with the planned series. It is a fact that this provision was introduced with regard to broadcasting by the Labor Government in 1948. If it be that the Australian Labor Party is seeking to criticise this Government because of the existence of a provision such as that, it ought to look into its own history because it was the Labor Government which introduced the provision originally in 1948.

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