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Tuesday, 24 September 1974
Page: 1294

Senator MCAULIFFE - My question is addressed to the Minister for the Media. Has his attention been drawn to a newspaper report that Sydney and Melbourne television audience survey figures for the months of July and August have continued to show the very strong increase in the number of television sets in use in the first 5 months of this year? Do the figures show that there has been a 6 per cent increase in the number of sets in use in Sydney and an increase of about 4 per cent in the number of sets in use in Melbourne? Is the Minister aware that this increase in sets in use corresponds with the time of the introduction by the Broadcasting Control Board of the controversial points system? Has the sales director of the Channel 7 network attributed the overall increase to better and more aggressive programming of Australian productions?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I did see the report in, I think last Sunday's Sydney Sun Herald'. I have also received a report from the Broadcasting Control Board stating that sets in use in Sydney increased by 6 per cent in the first 5 months following the introduction of the points system and by about 4 per cent in Melbourne in the same period. I think that what the honourable senator is suggesting is correct. I also point out that the period corresponds with the making available by the Government to the Australian Broadcasting Commission, last financial year of additional funds of the order of $ 10m a great deal of which was spent on production activities in Australia. This year we are augmenting ABC operational funds by an additional $16m.

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