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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1494

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for the Media whether he has recently received a request from a coalition of groups based in Melbourne named the Community Radio Federation for an early decision on its application for a metropolitan AM broadcasting licence? Can the Minister say whether this Federation can expect to gain a licence and, if so, when?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I have seen the telegram to which the honourable senator refers and receipt of it has been acknowledged. At this stage I have not been able to provide a firm answer to the organisation mentioned by the honourable senator. He will be aware that in the statement which I made to the Senate last week I explained that at this stage the Government has decided to proceed with the development of experimental radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, in both the AM and FM broadcasting bands. I pointed out last week and again this morning that the Government had invited the Australian Broadcasting Commission to try out new forms of programming on its stand-by transmitters in Sydney and Melbourne. This morning I pointed out to Senator Guilfoyle that I had read a statement by the Chairman of the ABC, Professor Downing, who had indicated that the ABC would initiate new programs in response to the Government's invitation. He indicated that the Commission would be interested in using the stand-by transmitter, particularly in Melbourne, to provide opportunities for community participation in broadcasting. That being so, I stongly suggest that groups such as the Community Radio Federation could perhaps gain valuable experience in broadcasting if they were to approach the ABC and inquire about the types of programs which the ABC intends to put forward on the stand-by transmitter.

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