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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 152

Senator GAIR asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

(1)   What was the cost of producing the Australian Broadcasting Commission's recent television programme 'Education - The Great Debate'.

(2)   Is it true that technical facilities alone, including Postmaster-General's cables for sound and vision, cost $30,000.

(3)   Did the showing of this programme tie up the whole of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's national network.

(4)   What was the estimated size of the programme's viewing audience.

(5)   Would the Minister agree that the programme's contribution to the solution of Australia's real educational problems was a minimal one, which did not justify this enormous amount of public expenditure and inconvenience.

Senator GREENWOOD (VictoriaAttorneyGeneral) The PostmasterGeneral has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   The direct production cost was $12,806.

(2)   No.

(3)   Yes.

(4)   Approximately 2 million people watched the programme.

(5)   I understand the aim of the programme was to provide a forum for a nation-wide discussion on secondary education in Australia. It was not designed to provide solutions to whatever problems may exist in the field of education. The Australian Broadcasting Commission was very pleased with the result.

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