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Wednesday, 2 October 1974
Page: 1578

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) -Has the Minister for the Media had any response from the television or radio industries about the likely effect on those industries of the elimination of the broadcasting and television receiver licence fees? If so, what has been the nature of that response and what effect will this measure have on the prospects for a smooth transition from black and white television to colour television?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I can inform the honourable senator that the Government's proposal for the elimination of the radio and television licence fees has had a very favourable reception from all sections, including the trade union section of the radio and television industries. I think it is fair to say that the television industry, in particular, has greeted the news of this measure with considerable enthusiasm. The honourable senator will be aware that the expectation in many quarters was that the introduction of colour television might lead to increased licence fees being charged by the Government. There was concern that this in turn would mean that fewer people would be attracted to the purchase of colour television sets. Today I was particularly pleased to find that this point has been recognised by one independent television production company- one of the largest independent television companies- whose managing director wrote to me to express his appreciation for the Government's action in eliminating the licence fees and to suggest that this would give added encouragement to the greater employment of Australians.

I might add that there has also been an appreciative response to this measure from representatives of the tourist industry, who believe that the elimination of the licence fees will be of considerable assistance to a more effective development of the tourist industry. The honourable senator can be assured that this Government has done everything possible to get colour television sets on to the market at the lowest possible price in order to improve the quality of life for all sections of the Australian community.

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